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19 78 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation 


United States Department of the Interior 


Mr. Edward Butowsky 
7262 Hanford Street 
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19149 

Dear Mr. Butowsky: 

Enclosed is a copy of my report Appomattox Manor -City Point -A History, 

I want to thank you for your help in preparing this report and 

will appreciate any comments you may have on the substance of the 


Sincerely yours, 

Harry Butowsky, Ph.D, 
Staff Historian 

Appomattox Manor-City Point 
A History 

Dr. Harry Butowsky 
National Park Service 
Mid-Atlantic Region 




Chapter 1 

The Early History of City Point and 

the Eppes Family 1 

The Eppes Family before the time 

of Dr . Richmond Eppes 8 

Dr. Richard Eppes before the Civil War 3 3 

The Civil War 4 2 

Chapter 11 

U. S. Grant and the Establishment of City Point 67 

Strategic, Economic and Political Impli- 
cations of the Civil War to 1864 7 7 

Appointment of General Grant to Power and 

Beginning of the Siege of Petersburg 7 9 

The Movement of City Point 9 2 

Chapter 111 

Life at City Point 1864-1865 102 

Chapter IV * 

Logistics and Communications at City Point 17 3 

The United States Military Railroads 191 

Communications 22S 

Chapter V 

Lincoln and other visitors at City Point 241 





Appomattox Manor-City Point 

Appomattox Manor is located in Hopewell* Virginia on a 
promontory overlooking the confluence of the James and 
Appomattox Rivers. The Manor house and several outbuild- 
ings are located on the property which is currently 
privately owned and includes a total of 15 acres. 

Appomattox Manor is the ancestral home of the Eppes Family 
and goes back to the days of Colonial America and has 
played an important part in the history of the United 
States. A summary of the historically significant story 
of Appomattox Manor follows. 

First, from June 15, 1864, until March 29, 1865, this 
was the site for the Headquarters of the Armies of the 
United States. The Headquarters with its Commanding 
Officer, the General-in-Chief of the United States Armies, 

^-Reference to Appomattox Manor in this report will 
include the manor house, adjacent buildings, gardens, and 
curtilage including the shores of the two rivers near the 
house. The original name of the property was "Appomattox." 
This was changed to "Appomattox Manor" in the 1930' s by the 
post office to avoid confusion with Appomattox Court House. 
In this report the term "Appomattox Manor" is used to con- 
form with modern usage. 


gave the United States for the first time an efficient 
modern system of command for waging war. This head- 
quarters at Appomattox Manor "was destined to become 
historic and to be the scene of the most memorable events 
of the war . " 

Second, Lieutenant General U. S. Grant, General-in-Chief 
of the Armies of the United States was quartered at 
Appomattox Manor Estate during this period. It was here 
that General Grant conducted his campaign against the 
principal field army of the Confederacy, General Robert 
E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. 

Third, President Abraham Lincoln for two of the last 
three weeks of his life had his Executive Office at Head- 
quarters, Armies of the United States. Lincoln visited 
Grant's Headquarters in June, 1864, and from March 24, 
to April 8, 1865. Living on board the R^vcx QulQ.<lyi , 
Lincoln came to Appomattox Manor to be "nearer to the end 
of General Grant's present movement." The last telegram 
of military importance to be sent by President Lincoln was 
sent from here on April 7, 18 65: "General Sheridan says, 
'if the thing is pressed, I think that Lee will surrender.' 
Let the thing be pressed. A. Lincoln." 


Fourth, the greatest logistical operation of the Civil 
War was commanded from, and conducted on the waters and 
shore adjacent to Appomattox Manor. The Chief Quarter- 
master of Grant's staff was responsible for all logistical 
operations and the Armies of the Potomac and the James. 
From June, 1864, to May, 1865 his headquarters was in the 
Manor House. 

On an average day there were forty steamboats, seventy- 
five sailing vessels, and one hundred barges tied up along 
the mile-long waterfront. Army hospitals to accommodate 
10,000 casualties were built along the bluff from City 
Point to the present Hopewell Yacht Club. 

Fifth, Appomattox Manor probably is the oldest English 
Colonial Land Grant in the United States to continue in 
the same family. Appomattox Manor is part of an original 
grant by Charles I to Captain Francis Eppes in 1635 and 
has had continuous ownership in the Eppes family for 34 
years . 

Appomattox Manor has an important story to tell the modern 
visitor. Many of the important events of American History 

occurred either directly on or nearby the property. The 
first chapter of this report will detail the early history 
of the site and its association with the Eppes family. 



1962 Photo of Appomattox Manor, Hopewell , Va. 
SOURCE: Report on Appomattox Manor, Hopewell , Va 


Present condition of manor house, right, and 
kitchen building, left. 

Source; Report on Appomattox Manor Hopewell 
Virginia , 1962. 



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Sketch Map of Appomattox Manor, Hopewell, Virginia. 
URCE: Report on Appomattox Manor, Hopewell , Virginia . 



















Chapter One 
The Early History of City Point and the Eppes Family 

Following Queen Elizabeth's death in 1603, her successor, 
James I, made peace with Spain, thus freeing English man- 
power and resources for the colonization of America. In 
1606, King James issued charters to two joint-stock com- 
panies to colonize the land that Sir Walter Raleigh had named 
Virginia in honor of the Virgin Queen Elizabeth. The more 
important of the two Virginia companies , with headquarters 
at London, promptly sent out an expedition. This expedition 
reached the Chesepeake Bay in April 1607, after a voyage of 
four months. The 100 odd settlers proceeded up the James 
River and founded the first permanent settlement in the New 
World at Jamestown. 

Jamestown was not the unanimous choice of the colonists. 
Had Captain Newport, a member of this first expedition had 
his way, it would not have been selected as the site for the 
first settlement. Newport, as commander of a twenty-one man 
reconnaissance force, sailed up the James River in search of 
a suitable site for the colony. On May 8, he saw City Point 
and was impressed with the site. Before Newport could 
return to the other colonists with his suggestions, the 
decision was made to settle at Jamestown, thus City Point 
missed becoming the site of the first permanent English 

settlement in the New World by only the narrowest of 
margins. ^ 

Newport found the City Point area populated by the Appo- 
matuck Indians who were a sub-tribe of the Powhatan Indians 
of the Algonquian linguistic stock. The origin of the 
name Appomattox is obscure but it might have meant "tobacco 
plant country" or "curving tidal estuary". * 

Newport visited one of the villages of the Appomattuck 
Indians near the junction of the James and Appomattox Rivers 
during this first trip and was given a reluctant welcome by 
the Indians. The light armour, helmets and weapons of the 
English were intriguing to the Indians, while Newport was 
equally interested in the native's clothing of skins, orna- 
mented with bones, shells and teeth, as well as their weapons 
which consisted of bows and arrows, hatchets and weighted 
clubs. ^ 

^Francis Earle Lutz, The Prince George-Hopewell Story 
(The William Bryd Press, Richmond, 1957), p. 3. Although 
the identities of Newport's party is not definitely known, 
it did include Captain Percy, eighth son of the Earl of 
Northumberland, John Colloson, Robert Jackson, Robert 
Tyndall and Matthew Finch. 

2 Kelsie B. Harden, ed., Illustrated Dictionary of Place 
Names-United States and Canada (Van Nostrand Reinhold and 
Company, New York, 197 6. 

^Lutz, p. 10. 

Percy left an account of this first visit to the City Point- 

Hopewell area: 

The eight of May we discovered 
(explored) up the river. We landed in 
the countrey of the Apamatica. At our 
landing came many stout and able savages 
to resist us with their Bows and Arrowes, 
in a most warlike manner, with the swords 
at their backs beset with sharp stones and 
pieces of iron able to cleave a man in 
sunder. Amongst the rest, one of the 
chiefest standing before them cross legged 
with his Arrowes readdie in his Bow, and 
taking a pipe of tobacco in the other, with 
a bold uttering of his speech, demanding of 
us our being there, willing (commanding) us 
to bee gone. Wee made signs of peace, which 
they perceived in the end, and let us land 
in quiteness. 4 

Newport wrote of the visit: 

The men are straight and lusty, and run 
exceedingly swift and so practised are they 
in the arts of stealing that while looking 
you in the face they will with their toes 
take a chisel, knife or any light thing and 
hold it an injury to have the stolen thing 
taken away from the . * 

The Indians visited by Newport lived simply in wigwams or 

houses constructed from saplings and arranged cone-like, 

with an opening at the top for smoke and fire to pass. 

The frames of these buildings were covered with either bark 

or skins, a small opening protected by a flap was used to 

4 Ibid ., p. 5 
5 Ibid. 

provide access. The indians reported that they were com- 
fortable even in the coldest of weather. 

The Appomattuck Indians lived a sedentary life clustered 
in agricultural villages. The women tilled the soil and 
the men hunted and waged war. Tobacco and maize (Indian 
corn) were the two most important Indian crops. Agri- 
cultural implements and tools were primitive by the 
standards of the English farmers. Land was cleared of 
trees by stripping a circle of bark from the base of the 
tree. The stumps were left in the ground and the ground 
was prepared for planting with the use of the wooden hoe 
faced with bone, horn and stone. 

In addition to maize and tobacco, beans, peas, pumpkins, 
muskmelons, cymblings and gourds were raised. Strawberries, 
gooseberries, blackberries, mulburries, chestnuts and 
persimmons were gathered from the surrounding forests. 7 

Although duties concerning the gathering, raising and hunt- 
ing of food were carefully divided between the sexes it is 
probable that most of the basic caloric intake was provided 

6 Ibid . 
'ibid., p. 6. 

by the women of the village who raised the crops and gathered 
food from the forest. While hunting and fishing provided 
welcome additions to the diet, this source of food supply 
was too uncertain for the village to rely on for its food 

On May 22, 1607/ Newport returned to the area for a second 
visit. 8 

The arrival of the Englishmen provoked a much friendlier 
response among the Appomattuck Indians who stood along the 
banks of the river offering food and welcome. The English- 
men were the guests of Queen Opusoquoinuske of the Appo- 
mattuck Indians. Her area of authority extended to both 
sides of the Appomattox River from the mouth to the falls, 

with one village on the Prince George side just below 

Petersburg and another near the present Bermuda Hundred. 

Percy reported that the Queen had copper around her neck 
and a crown of copper on her head. He further reported that 

^The roster for this second visit included Newport, 
Smith and Percy, and Captain Gabriel Archer. Others included 
John Brooks, Thomas Whooten, Johanas Poole, John Crookdeck, 
Benjamin Black, Thomas Turnbridge, Robert Marham, Francis 
Nelson, Oliver Brown, Richard Genoway, Thomas Godward, 
Charles Clarke, Skinner and Jeremy Deale, and two boys, Stephen 
and Daniel . 

Ibid . , p . 6 . 

"She has long black hair, which hanged loose down her back 
to her middle; which only partly was covered with deer skin 
and all else naked." 10 

The total population of the tribe was probable 250 to 300 
men, women and children which translated into a military 
force of eighty warriors. After a short visit, Newport 
again returned to Jamestown. 

The first years of the Jamestown colony were not easy. 
Hunger, hostile indians, and disease took many lives and/ 
at one point, the colony was almost abandoned. Much of the 
trouble arose because of the faulty organization and 
unrealistic aims of the enterprise. Anxious for quick 
profits from gold, the settler's were slow to take up the 
practice of agriculture necessary to sustain the colony. 
This reluctance arose partly from the fact that all of the 
original settlers were employees of the company and their 
labor was exacted under a military discipline by an auto^- 
cratic government. This system was changed in 1618 when 
the company initiated a new program for the colony and 
chose Sir Edwin Sandys (who never came to Virginia) to 
execute it. Under this "headright" system a person would 



receive fifty acres of land for himself and every person 
he brought to Virginia. Individuals receiving these 
grants were required to build a house and plant a crop 
within three years, and to pay an annual quitrent of one 
shilling for every fifty acres as long as they remained 
in possession of the land. Under this system a person would 
receive fifty acres for every individual he transported to 
America. The result of this new system was to greatly 
increase the population of Virginia. 

As the population of Virginia increased and the years passed 
other changes occurred in the organization of the colony that 
made life in America more desirable for settlement. These 
were the introduction of tobacco cultivation, which gave 
the colony a cash crop to pay for its imports, the intro- 
duction of Negro servants and later slaves, which provided 
a cheap source of labor and the beginning of the first 
representative assembly, which provided a liberal atmosphere 
in which economic changes could develop. The combination 
of these forces combined with a cheap source of fertile 
land to insure the success of the colony. All of these 
factors were operating by the time Francis Eppes first 
arrived in Virginia. 

•The Eppes Family before 

time of Dr. Richard Eppes 

We are able to trace the ancestors of Francis Eppes far 
back into English History. The surname Eppes is of con- 
siderable antiquity. The family originated in Kent County, 
England and can be traced back there as far as the year 
1272. A Roger Epps is found in English legal papers dating 
from that year. 

Alen Epes (Epse) , the greatgrandfather of Francis Eppes was 
born in Kent County and died there in 1551. He was a mem- 
ber of the English gentry class and, while not rich, was com- 

fortable, economically. 

llThe Eppes family name has been spelled several dif- 
ferent ways during the history of the family. The common 
spelling is Eppes, but Epps, Eps, Epes and Epse are also 
known. Francis Eppes and his descendants used the spelling 
Eppes. For reasons of clarity the spelling of Eppes is 
used throughout this paper. 

l 2 Eva Turner Clark, Francis Eppes, His Ancestors and 
Descendants , Richard R. Smith, New York^ 1942) pp. 5-7 . 
Mrs. Clark's book is currently the best researched and most 
detailed account available concerning the Eppes family in 
America. The family has employed a researcher, Mr. Prentice 
Price, to revise the history of the Eppes family and to cor- 
rect the mistakes of the Clark book. This research had not 
yet been completed and what material is available has been 
circulated to the family and has not been published. 

The son of Alen Epes was John Epes who was born in Kent 
County about the year 1530. 

The son of John Epes was also named John. He was born 
about 1560 in Kent County and died on November 19 , 1627/ 
and was buried at Ashford, England. He married Thomazine 
Banks and had a son named Francis Eppes, who was baptized 
on May 15, 1597. We know nothing of the early history of 
Francis Eppes except that he was one of eight children 
and had at least one and possibly two older brothers. 

Because Francis Eppes had older brothers/ he had little 
chance of inheriting any property from his parents. The 
laws of primogeniture and entail gave preference to the 
oldest surviving son. The usual fate of younger sons was 
to enter the clergy or the army. Francis Eppes chose a 
third course and decided to come to America to make his 
fame and fortune. The reason for this choice was obvious. 
Virginia offered a hope and opportunity that England could 
never provide. In Virginia a man could be a landowner and 
establish his own line. The risks and hardships of the 
voyage were considerable but the lure of cheap land was too 

much for Francis Eppes to resist. Still in his early 

twenties, Francis Eppes packed his bags and traveled to 

America with his wife Marie. 

He traveled to the colony at Jamestown on the ship Hope- 
well whose name he was later to give to his plantation 
on the south bank of the James River. 

Little is known of the life or history of the family dur- 
ing these first years in America. It is not until 1625 
that we learn that Francis Eppes was a member of the House 
of Burgesses where he represented Charles City County. 

John Epes, father of Francis Eppes, died in 1627 and 
apparently left his son an inheritance. By the time news 
of the death reach America Francis Eppes had risen in 
Virginia society and had been appointed to the "Commission 
for a monthly Court... in the Upper Parts." 

l^The exact date of Francis Eppes arrival in Virginia 
is uncertain, but it was probably before 1625 and possibly 
as early as 1620 or 1621. 

14 Clark, p. 211. 

15 Ibid. 


Sometime after March 1628, Francis Eppes returned to England 
with his family to collect his inheritance and to gather a 
company of immigrants to come to Virginia so he could 

collect their headrights. He was probably in England as 

late as September 1630. 

One advantage of taking his family back to England was 
that they would all be counted as new immigrants on their 
return to Virginia. He could thus collect additional 
headrights for his immediate family. There is no record 
of Francis Eppes in Virginia records from March 1628, when 
he was appointed a Commissioner of Justice in "The Upper 

Parts," until 1631 when he was appointed a commissioner for 

the Counties of Charles City and Henrico. 

Francis Eppes undoubtly spent the interval in England put- 
ting his affairs in order and organizing his expedition of 
immigrants. Also, as a person familiar with conditions in 


Francis Eppes' first two sons, John and Francis, were 

born in Virginia and returned to England with their parents 

in 1628. The church of St. Olave, Hart Street, London, 

records that on September 8, 1630, Thomas, son of Francis Eps 

(Eppes) and his wife Marie, was born. Thomas Epes (Eppes), 

in a disposition in Virginia given in 1665, gave his age at 

35 years, making it reasonable to assume that he is the 

Thomas Epes (Eppes) referred to in the church records. 

17 Clark, p. 212 


Virginia^ he would have been in demand for consultation by 
the Royal Government, which had so recently taken over 
direct control of the colony. 

Francis Eppes returned to Virginia in 1631, and on August 
26, 1635, he obtained 1,700 acres of land by royal patent 
in the County of Charles, lying east upon Bayly's Creek, 
west upon Cosons (Cawsons) Creek, by the Appomattox River, 
and north upon the main river. He received 50 acres for 
his personal adventure, and 650 for the transportation of 
three sons and thirty servants whose transportation he 
paid for. 18 

Since the total patent was for 1,7 00 acres and Francis Eppes 
had headrights for 7 00 acres, we must ask why did he receive 

- LO "Culpeper ' s Report on Virginia in 1683", The Virginia 
Magazine of History and Biography, Jan. 1896, 111, No. 3, 
p. 281. A complete listing to the headrights is as follows 

Head rights: Captain Francis Epes, 
Fr. Epes, Thomas Epes, Jon. Long, Jon. Baker, 
Thos. Warden, Jon. Joyce. Tho. Foanes, Tho. 
Cropp, Richard Stayte, Richard Heautt, 
George Addams, Sarah Hickmore, Thos. Patti- 
son, Anthony Box, Jonathan Ellison, Barth 
Swinborne. Silvester Atkins, Robert Fos- 
sett, Ju. Rowland, Ann Turner, George Archer, 
Hugh James, Jon. Nowell, Bashaw, Juliana. 
Andrea. Magdelina, Sersent, Negar Rich. 
Litchfield, Edward Ames, Susan Mills, James 


a thousand extra acres of land? The patent is silent on 
this subject and simply states that he was granted 1,700 
acres of land for himself, his three sons and thirty 
servants. Two possible conclusions are that he brought 
over other indentured servants prior to his return to 
Virginia in 1631, or that the extra land was a gift from 
the crown for services rendered either in London or in 
Virginia. He might also have purchased the land from the 
money he received from his father's estate. Mrs. Elise 
Eppes Cutchins, a direct descendant of Francis Eppes, 
stated her belief that the 1,000 acres of land was given to 

Francis Eppes as additional headrights for people he brought 

to America. 

Another intriguing question is why did Francis Eppes wait 
so long to claim his headrights. He arrived in Virginia 
probably fifteen years before he patented his land at City 
Point. Certainly, he could have claimed land at that time. 
The headright system was initated in 1618 by Sir Edwin 
Sandys and was almost certainly in force when Francis Eppes 

■^See the transcript of the conversation between Dr. 
Harry Butowsky and Mrs. Elise Eppes Cutchins on November 30, 
1977, located in the files of the Petersburg National Battle- 
field Park, Petersburg, Virginia. Even if this was the case 
it would not explain the fact that no additional names are 
mentioned in the patent to justify the extra 1,000 acres. 


arrived in Virginia. Since there is no record of Francis 
Eppes claiming land before 163 5 and his grant in 1635 was 
larger by 1,000 acres than it should have been considering 
the number of people he brought to America in 1631, we must 
assume that he was saving his headrights before 1631, or 
saving his money to put in all of his claim at one time. 
He was certainly influential in the political life of the 
colony, which can be assumed from his membership in the House 
of Burgesses. 

He was a young man and was probably not ready yet to settle 
down and establish a farm. The death of his father in 
England in 1627 and his inheritance gave him the opportunity 
he needed to translate his limited capital in England into 
usable land in Virginia. By paying the passage for thirty 
servants, he could claim land in Virginia and the labor 
necessary to operate a large farm. Still, even after he 
returned to the colony in 1631, he waited four years before 
claiming his land. By 1631 he was the father of a growing 
family and a man of some importance in Virginia. The 
reason for the wait to claim his land is not known and unless 
new documentation is found, will probably never be known. 
Francis Eppes left no diary of his life, and what we know 
about him comes from a few church records, land patent 


records, and family tradition. These sources do not clear 
away the mystery. 

Little is known of the reminder of the life of Francis 
Eppes except that he represented Charles City in the House 

of Burgesses in January 163 9, and was elected a member of 

the Council on April 30, 1652. 

Francis Eppes died on October 4, 1668 and left three 
children, John, Francis and Thomas. John Eppes inherited 
his father's lands, and it is not known what inheritance 
was left to the two younger sons. 

Little is known of the life of John Eppes except that he 
was a large landowner and a member of the militia of 
Charles City County. John Eppes and his younger brother 
Francis were undoubtly involved in the defense of the 
Virginia Colony from Indian raids during this period. 

In 1679 or 1680, John Eppes died and passed the title to 
the family lands to his son John Eppes, who was born in 
1648. We know this because John Eppes gave a power of 


Culpeper's report, p. 281. 


attorney to Elias Osborne to transact any business in 

Surrey County in connection with his father's estate. 

Just as in the case of his father and grandfather, John 
Eppes lived the life of a prosperous Virginia landowner. 
The rent roll of 1704 shows him the owner of 500 acres 
in Charles City County, and of 300 acres in Prince George 

County. In 1712/ an additional tract of 400 acres was 


surveyed for him on the Butterwood Swamp. John Eppes 

also owned the land he had inherited from his father. 
Like his father and grandfather he was active in public 

affairs and was sheriff of Charles City County in 17 07 

and a justice in 1714. John and his wife, Mary Eppes 

had six sons — John, Nathaniel, Thomas, William, Francis, 

and Richard . 

John Eppes died in 1722 and divided his land between his 
sons, John, Nathaniel and Thomas and gave the remaining 
portion of his estate to his wife and his six children, 
(which included John, Nathaniel and Thomas) . Some time 

21 Clark, p. 214 

22 Ibid . , p. 219 



earlier he had also given land to his brothers, Francis and 

Mary Eppes, upon her death, gave her land to her sons, 
William and Francis Eppes. The Eppes family lands were 
thus split up among the six sons and two brothers of John 
Eppes. Following the chain of title to the property at 
City Point at this point becomes difficult. According to 

family tradition, the title to the land at City Point 

passed from John Eppes to his fourth son William Eppes. 

William Eppes married Sarah Walpole, the daughter of 
Carson Walpole. We know nothing else about him except 
that he had four children, Francis, William, Mary and 
Sarah Eppes. He died in 1737. 

According to family tradition, William Eppes divided his 

lands among his children. Mary Eppes, who married a Mr. 

2 6 
Custis, received the City Point lands , while Francis 

William and Sarah received other property. ' 

24 Ibid., p. 219 


Cutchins Transcript, p. 2 

°Cutchms Transcript, p. 2 

^'Francis Eppes made his home at a plantation of 356 
acres on Bland's Swamp, Prince George County, not far from 
Bailey's Creek and "High Peak." This location would place 
him very close to the property left to his sister Mary. 


Mary Eppes Custis died in childbirth and was followed soon 
afterward by her infant daughter. The title to the City 
Point property then passed to her uncle, Richard Eppes, 
the great-grandson of Francis Eppes. Richard Eppes became 
known as the Richard Eppes of Shirley Hundred Island and 
City Point. 

Richard Eppes married Mary Cocke, daughter of Richard Cocke 
This union produced two children — Elizabeth and Richard. 
Richard Eppes, the son of Richard Eppes and Mary Cocke 
Eppes, inherited the City Point lands from his father and 

built the present Eppes family home, Appomattox Manor, 

there in 1763. 


There is some confusion in the sources concerning 

the identity of Richard Eppes. Prentice Price, the gene- 
alogist of the Eppes family, and Mrs. Elise Eppes Cutchins 
believe he was the son of John Eppes who lived on Shirley 
Hundred Island and who died in 1722. This would make him 
the great-great grandson of Francis Eppes. Eva Turner 
Clark claims that he was the son of Francis Eppes the 
brother of Richard Eppes. This would also make him a 
great-great grandson of Francis Eppes. The confusion seems 
to be whether he was descended from Richard Eppes, the fifth 
son of John Eppes and Mary Poythress Eppes, or from Francis 
Eppes, the fourth son of the same couple. Both brothers, 
Francis and Richard, had sons whcm they named Richard. In 
any case, it is certain according to Mrs. Clark and Mr. 
Cutchins that Richard Eppes owned the land at City Point 
and built "Appomattox Manor" there in 1763. 


Richard Eppes and his wife Christian Robertson lived 
quietly on their property at City Point in the years 
immediately prior to the American Revolution. They were 
married in 1770, only a few years after Richard Eppes tore 
down the old family home at City Point and built the 
present home, which is now known as Appomattox Manor. 

According to family tradition the home replaced a previously 
existing home that stood on the same site. Independent 
evidence would seem to support this belief because the age 
and structure of the out-kitchen appears to pre-date the 
construction of the house. The kitchen was most likely 
built to serve the pre-existing structure. Also, according 
to the terms of the headright in 1635, Francis Eppes had to 
put a crop in within three years and erect a home on the 
land or he would lose title. Although we have no definite 
knowledge of the previous home of the Eppes family at 
City Point, we can assume that it occupied the same site as 
Appomattox Manor and it dated from the time of Francis 
Eppes. Family tradition supports this view. Our. knowledge 
of this must remain uncertain because we have no documentation 
concerning the original home. In all probability, no such 
documentation has survived the passage of years, and we must 
rely on family tradition for information in this area. 





&£*£& kitchen soitor**$ 

-££r^ ^;Vf*W FROM MQa?MW£$T' - 5SS1SB 

Kitchen Building at Appomattox Manor, view 
from northwest . 

SOURCE: Photographic file of Henry Magaziner , Historical 
Mid-Atlantic Region, National Park Service , Phila . , Pa. 


Kitchen Building at Appomattox Manor, view from 
southwest . 

SOURCE: Magaziner Photo File. 



Chimney on North Wall of Kitchen 
Building at Appomattox Manor 
'RCE: Magaziner Photo Fil 


WALL OP Kjtrwyii ~- -i 


Chimney and South Wall of Kitchen Building 
SOURCE: Magaziner Photo File 

CHl!v\NEY (» 



Chimney located on North Wall of 

Kitchen Building 
SOURCE: Magaziner Photo File. 


East Side of Kitchen Buildiw 
SOURCE: Magaziner Photo File. 

The exact date of construction of Appomattox Manor is under 
dispute. The secondary sources have variously assigned the 
dates 1751, 1752, 1763 and 1768 to the construction of the 
home. The best evidence we have for the actual construction 
date is a brick which is located in the west chimney in the 
center house at Appomattox Manor. The Brick is inscribed 
R.E. 1763 and probably stands for Richard Eppes and the 
date of actual construction of the house. 

-*^s£ S ij£^r>r<£: 



Inscribed brick R.E. 1763 located on West 
Chimney of Center House of Appomattox Mano 

SOURCE: Magaziner Photo File. 

r . 

Richard Eppes built a five room house in 1763. On the first 
floor were two large rooms — one dining room and another room 
that was used as a possible bedroom. On the second floor 


.1 -' 






1 I : T" w^-\ W-J&zZ 


I. -s i. ~.->-J 

7t7RE 12 

Appomattox Manor First Floor Plan 

7RCE: Eppes Family Files, Virginia Historical Society, 
Richmond , Virginia . 




were two large bedrooms and one small bedroom. Richard 
Eppes had eight children — Richard, Archibald, Thomas, 
Robertson, Elizabeth, Christian, Mary and William. With 

ten people living at Appomattox, as the home came to be 

called, conditions were soon crowded. There is no 

evidence that Richard Eppes ever added to the home or 

changed it in any way after its construction. 

Perhaps the reason for this was due to the uncertainty of 
life in Prince George County as a result of the Revolution- 
ary War. Richard Eppes never served in the army, nor did any 
of his sons. By 1776 he was forty-one years of age and too 
old for active service. His children were too young for 
service. Richard Eppes spent the duration of the war on 
his estates at City Point. 

The struggle for independence did have its impact on Richard 
Eppes' home late in the war. Prince George County received 
its baptism of fire on January 4, 1781 when a British fleet 
entered the James River and started moving upstream toward 

2^The home of Richard Eppes was called Appomattox until 
1930, when the post office asked that the home be called 
Appomattox Manor to avoid confusion with Appomattox Court 
House. Since the name Appomattox Manor has come to be 
associated with the home, I have used this name in referring 
to the home even during this early period. 


Appomattox Manor. This action was taken by the British 
in an effort to capitalize on previous British victories 
in Georgia and the Carolinas. By using their superior 
naval power, the British were moving up the coast taking 
strong points along the way. The British hoped to detach 
the southern colonies from the war effort by these actions. 
In command of the British invaders was General Benedict 
Arnold. Arnold's fleet advanced to Westover where it 
anchored and Arnold himself advanced in person with an 
army to Richmond, where Thomas Jefferson the governor 
decided to evacuate the capital. 

During Arnold's absence several British ships advanced up 
the Appomattox River, where they destroyed numerous tobacco- 
laden vessels and other American property. Only the 
arrival of two companies of Colonel John Banister's 
militia forced the British to retreat. As- the British 
ships sailed down the river they received fire from 
American guns situated on the bank of the river at City 
Point. When the British returned the fire one of the shells 
struck Appomattox Manor and the house was set on fire. 
Only the efforts of faithful slaves saved the home from 




Matthew Brady Photograph of Appomattox Manor 
taken in 1865 from the northeast side of the 
house . 
SOURCE: Petersburg National Battlefield , Peters- 
burg, Virginia . File 811, Historic 
Building File. 

According to family tradition the nick in the west chimney 
was made by a British cannon ball fired at this time. In 
the accompanying Brady photo of Appomattox Manor taken 
in 1865, the nick is easily seen. It is possible that, 
since the house was fired on during both the Revolutionary 
and Civil Wars, the nick in the chimney was taken out dur- 
ing the latter conflict. Family tradition is very clear 
on the subject and stated that the nick was the result of 

the British cannon ball 



Cutchins Transcript, p. 2; also in Lutz,pp. 88-89 


The British later returned to City Point on April 24, 
1781 and landed troops and marched on Petersburg. The 
British were commanded by General William Phillips with 

Benedict Arnold as second in command. The British occupied 
Petersburg the following day after a stiff encounter with 

colonial militia under the command of General Peter 

Muhlenburg. Some of the fighting occurred over the 

ground that would see bloody action 8 3 years later in the 

Civil War. On May 10 , General Lafayette placed his 

artillery on the opposite side of the Appomattox River 

and shelled the British in Petersburg. Three days later, 

General Phillips, ill with fever, died and was buried in 

Blanford cemetery. Lord Cornwallis, moving up from North 

Carolina, joined his forces with those of Arnold at 

Petersburg on May 20, 1781, and four days later moved 

eastward in the direction of Yorktown, where he surrendered 

31 - 
and ended the war on October 19, 1781. 

There is no evidence that any famous leader of the Revolu- 
tionary War ever visited Richard Eppes at Appomattox Manor. 
While he was an important landowner in Virginia and a member 


Lee A. Wallace, Jr. A History of Petersburg National 

Military Park f Virginia (unpublished document, 1951) pp. 3-4. 


of one of the oldest families of the state, Richard Eppes 
lived the quiet life of the gentleman farmer. He was 
interested in his estate and devoted himself to the task 
of operating the family plantation. He took little 
interest in public life and only served on the committee 
of public safety when danger threatened his home. Richard 
Eppes had no interest in politics and did not care to run 
for office. Richard Eppes passed on the title to the City 
Point lands and Appomattox Manor to his son Archibald 
Eppes. Richard Eppes had five sons but only Archibald 
Eppes survived childhood. 

After the death of Archibald Eppes, title to the property 
passed to Mary Eppes, the youngest daughter of Richard 
Eppes and Christian Robertson Eppes. On January 21, 1821, 
Mary Eppes married Benjamin Cocke, a prominent local 
businessman from City Point. This changed- the family name 
from Eppes to Cocke. The house and land was still in the 
possession of Mary Eppes but since descent was now passed 
through a female line the family name was changed from 
Eppes to Cocke. 

Benjamin Cocke was a very important businessman at City 


Point. He was active in local affairs and was one of the 

founders of the City Point Railroad. Of the many children 

of this marriage only Richard Eppes Cocke survived infancy. 

Benjamin Cocke was a poor manager and he died in debt. 
Mary Eppes Cocke had taken no part in the operation of the 
family farm and was shocked to learn of the family's 
shaky financial condition. She had been relatively well 
off at the time of her marriage to Benjamin Cocke and had 
never expected to be left in debt. The apparent problem 
was the mismanagement of the family farm. Benjamin Cocke 
had taken little interest in the farm and it had deteriorated 
as a result. 

Mary Eppes Cocke took the matter into her own hands and 
through the sale of some of the family's slaves was able 
to salvage the family fortune. Under her guidance the farm 
was soon again returned to a paying basis. 

The cost was high. Many of the slaves sold off had been 
on the Eppes plantation for many years. Richard Eppes 
Cocke had his mammy sold off the farm and he swore that he 

32 Lutz, p. 122 


would find her and bring her back. Years later he did find 
her in Alabama but she died before he could return her to 

Family tensions increased as a result of the money problems 
and Mary Eppes Cocke encouraged her son Richard Eppes Cocke 
to have his name legally changed to Richard Eppes. He did 
this in 1840, thus reestablishing the Eppes name with the 
City Point lands. When Richard Eppes inherited the house 
and lands from his mother in 184 4 the family name was once 
again Eppes. 


Chain of Title for City Point Lands 

Appomattox Manor 

1. Francis Eppes 

2 . John Eppes 

3 . John Eppes 

4 . William Eppes 

5. Mary Eppes Custis 

6. Richard Eppes 

7 . Richard Eppes 

8 . Mary Eppes Cocke 

9. Richard Eppes Cocke 

(Richard Cocke Eppes in 1840) 

10. Richard Eppes 

11. Richard Eppes 

12. Richard Eppes 




































Dr. Richard Eppes before the Civil War 

Dr. Richard Eppes owned and lived on his lands at City Point 
in the years immediately prior to the Civil War. Dr. Eppes 
kept a daily journal of expenses and information concerning 
his farming operations during these years. He also recorded 
his private thoughts in his journal. This record is still 

in existence and provides a detail look at the operation of 


the farm and information concerning the Eppes family. 

Dr. Eppes was born on May 2, 1824 and was the son of 
Benjamin Cocke and Mary Eppes Cocke. After the death of 
his father, Richard Eppes Cocke petitioned the court in 
1840 to have his name legally changed from Cocke to Eppes. 
He did this at his mother's urging to preserve the Eppes 
name and its association with the City Point property. 
Mrs. Cocke was distressed with her late husband for his 
mismanagement of the family lands and thus- felt little 
incentive to have her son keep the Cocke name. 

Mrs . Cocke had great ambitions for her son and it was due 

to her influence that he traveled to Philadelphia to enroll in 


Dr. Eppes' journal and other family papers (receipts, 

private letters, pictures) are now located at the Virginia 

Historical Society. 


the school of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. 
Richard Eppes graduated as a doctor and returned home. 
After the death of his mother in 1844, Dr. Eppes assumed 
control of the family lands. He never enjoyed the practice 
of medicine and, as a result, he settled down to the life of 
a gentleman farmer and lived on his land. 

Dr. Eppes married twice. His first wife was Josephine 
Dullas Horner of Philadelphia who died on February 2, 
1852 after giving birth to a daughter. This daughter, 
named Josephine Horner Eppes, died at the same time. Dr. 
Eppes then married Elizabeth Welsh Horner — the younger 
sister of Josephine. From this marriage there were nine 
children — Josephine, Mary, Elizabeth, Agnes, Richard, 
Emily, Christine, Elizabeth and Alfreda. 

Because his family was growing in size, Dr. Eppes found it 
necessary to enlarge his home. The house had remained 
essentially unchange since it was constructed in 1763 by 
the grandfather of Dr. Eppes. From that time to 1840 it 
remained a five roof structure with two large bedrooms 
and one small bedroom upstairs, and a dining room and a 
parlor downstairs. The parlor was used as an additional 
bedroom when conditions became too crowded. 


Mary Eppes Cocke started the process of enlarging the 
house in 184 when she added the East Wing to the struc- 
ture. This wing consisted of a central hall, with a 
library to the left of the front door, and a sitting room 

to the right. The second floor contained two medium size 

bedrooms and one small bedroom. Sometime between 184 

and 1850 the porch on the north side of the house was 

enclosed and used as an inside lavatory. 

Immediately before his first marriage, Dr. Eppes' future 
in-laws visited Appomattox Manor to inspect the home of 
the daughter. The Philadelphia Homers lived in very 
comfortable circumstances and believed that some improvements 
were required before their daughter could be confortable. 
They were especially concerned over the lack of adequate 
closet space. 

To remedy this situation Dr. Eppes built a large storeroom 
on the west side of the house for sugar, china, linen and 

34 This and all subsequent descriptions of the construc- 
tion history of Appomattox Manor were told to the writer 
by Mrs. Elise Eppes Cutchins, the granddaughter of Dr. Eppes, 
during an interview at her home in Franklin, Virginia on 
November 30, 1977. The transcript of this conversation can 
be found in the files of the Petersburg National Battlefield 





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other storage. Another bedroom was added to the second 
floor above this west section. Some time after this 
construction was completed another room was added to the 
west section of the house to contain the large metal bath- 
tub Dr. Eppes purchased. The date of this addition is not 
known . 

After the death of Dr. Eppes in 1896, two subsequent addi- 
tions were made to the house. Due to the age and disrepair 
of the outside kitchen and the problem of obtaining ade- 
quate help, this building was abandoned and an inside 
kitchen was added to the west side of the building. A 
bedroom was added above the kitchen. This was done about 
1912. In 1977 this kitchen was being used by Mrs. 
Lawrence as her sitting room. In 1916 the porch on the 
north side of the house was enclosed and used as an inside 
corridor. In 1977 this area was used by Mrs. 
Schoup as her kitchen. 

Dr. Eppes spent the years between his marriage and the out- 
break of the Civil War on his family estates. He did not 
practice medicine at any time but devoted himself to over- 
seeing the operation of his farm. 


The following map depicts the grounds around Appomattox 
Manor in the year 1856. The original colonial gardens 
were still in existence in that year and stood to the 
left of the driveway just south of the home. Very little 
is known of this garden since it was completely destroyed 
during the Civil War. Dr. Eppes was interested in the 
gardens, and when he returned from a trip to Europe and 
the Holy Land in 1845, he brought back with him the seeds 
and cuttings of many exotic plants for use on the grounds 
around his home. Included in this planting were a great 
variety of trees and shrubs including Acacias, Locusts, 

Willows, Magnolias (most likely from England), Elms, 

Copper Beech, Spruce, Lindens, Oaks and Muillo Cherries. 

After the Civil War Dr. Eppes planted an entirely new 
garden located on the east side of the house to replace 
the destroyed colonial gardens. Included in this garden 
are fruit trees, flowers, vegetables, roses and perennials. 

For the next few years, until the outbreak of the war, Dr. 
Eppes lived on his land and devoted himself to his farm and 
his family. He was a capable administrator and his farm 

35 ... 

Edith Tunis Sale, ed. , Historic Gardens of Virginia 

(James River Garden Club, Richmond, 1930) pp. 35-36. 
36 Ibid. 


prospered. According to his journals, Dr. Eppes owned 
127 slaves at the outbreak of the Civil War, and was a man 
of considerable wealth. 



Photograph of 1856 map of Appomattox 
Manor and surrounding lands. .. 
SOURCE: Eppes Family File, Virginia 

Historical Society , Richmond , 
Virginia . 





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f J" :- •-• - ■" 

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Jetailed view of Appomattox Manor from the 1865 map of the 
property . 

ICE: Eppes Family Files, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond , 
Virginia . 

The Civil War 

Dr. Eppes was not interested in national affairs in the 
years immediately prior to the Civil War. He either kept 
his opinions to himself or confided only to his close 
friends. Dr. Eppes favored the preservation of the union 
providing that southern rights could be protected. 

He supported this position when he cast his vote for John C 
Breckinridge of Kentucky for President in the election of 
1860. Breckinridge was the candidate of the Southern Wing 
of the split Democratic Party and enjoyed widespread 
support in Virginia. On Saturday, November 10, 1860, Dr. 
Eppes noted the election of Abraham Lincoln in his journal 
and called him the "Black Republican. 1 

On Sunday, November 11, Dr. Eppes received a vist from his 
neighbor, Mr. James Proctor, who was an avid secessionist. 
Both men discussed the issues of the day in a frank and 
friendly manner. Eppes stated his position clearly when 
he told Proctor that he voted for Breckinridge because he 
believed in the equality of the states and the protection 
of slave property. He was opposed to disunion before the 

37 , 

Richard Eppes Journal, Virginia Historical Society, 

Section 46, 1859-1862, p. 250. 


new Republican Administration had committed any overt act 
against the South. He believed that the South, having 
participated in the election of I860, was honor bound to 
abide by the result. Personally, he was opposed to secession 

but should Virginia leave the Union, he would support his 

native state. Richard Eppes was a reluctant rebel. 

For the next several weeks, while talk of secession and 
possible war rocked the country, Richard Eppes'- journal is 
silent on the subject of politics. 

Events in the country were now moving rapidly as a result 
of Lincoln's election. South Carolina passed an ordinance 
of secession on December 20 and by February 4, 1861, six 
other states of the lower south-Mississippi, Florida, 
Alabama, Georgia, Louisana and Texas — had left the Union 
and organized the Confederate States of America with 
Jefferson Davis as President. On that same day an election 
was held in Virginia for a convention to meet in Richmond 
to decide the future course of the state. Prince George 
County elected two men — Edmund Ruff in, and avid secessionist, 
who was well known for his extreme views, and Timothy Rives, 
who was just as extreme in his support of the Union. 

38 Ibid., p. 251 


Richard Eppes felt that neither man represented his views 
at the convention. He was a man of moderate views and 
preferred the old Union to the new Confederacy if southern 
rights could be protected. He also felt that any decision 
taken by the convention must be referred back to the 

people for final review. He cast his vote for this point 

of view. 

Richard Eppes traveled to Richmond on February 11 and took 
advantage of the visit to meet some of the delegates to 
the convention. Many of the members of the convention had 
no idea as to what would be the outcome of their delibera- 
tions. Only a minority of 40 members of a total of 152 were 
in favor of immediate secession. Most of the delegates 

told Richard Eppes that they believed it would be many 

. . 40 
months before they reached a decision. 

Dr. Eppes returned home after his visit to- Richmond to 
wait out the course of events. Once home he found that he 
could not remain uninvolved. During the previous year he 
served as a private in Company "L" of the 3rd Virginia 
cavalry. As the possibility of war increased he found more 

39 Ibid . , p. 275 
40 Ibid., p. 279 


and more of his time taken up with military activity. 
Since many members of the company knew he was a wealthy 

man, they prevailed upon him to supply them with the neces- 

sary equipment. He did this many times and was never 

paid back for these expenses by. the Confederate government. 

The issue of war or peace now came into focus in the harbor 
of Charleston, South Carolina. Practically all the federal 
forts and other property in the lower South had been 
taken over by the seceding states before Lincoln's 
inauguration. Of the few posts remaining in federal hands, 
the unfinished and ligtly garrisoned Fort Sumter, located 
in the entrance to Charleston's harbor, had become the 
symbolic flash point between North and South. Sumter 
had sufficient supplies to hold out for six weeks, and a 
decision concerning its future could not long be postponed. 
When Lincoln informed the authorities in South Carolina 
that he was sending a ship to resupply the fort, they, in turn 
ordered their general in Charleston to demand the fort ' s 

immediate evacuation and in case of refusal, to bombard it. 
The demand was made and refused and on April 12, the 


Richard Eppes, Letter to Governor J. H. Pierpont of 

Virginia, Virginia Historical Society, June 2, 1865. 


Confederate shore batteries opened fire f and the Civil 
War began. 

Richard Eppes heard the news of the surrender of Fort 
Sumter a few day later and signed a petition circulated by 

his neighbor, Mr. James Proctor, which demanded that Mr. 

Timothy Rives vote for the ordinance of secession. 

Even at this late date Dr. Eppes still stated that he 
would prefer the old Union to the new Confederacy, provid- 
ing that southern rights could be preserved. Thinking of 
the terrible war that might come, he recorded the following 
passage: "God grant this war not be of long duration or 
dreadful in its effects but to preserve our liberty we 
must be prepared to endure trials and afflictions and one 

of the greatest is our separation from our numerous 

friends and relatives in Philadelphia." 

For the next several days, after the surrender of Fort 
Sumter, Dr. Eppes followed political events closely. When 
Governor John Letcher of Virginia refused to send troops 
to the federal government to suppress the rebellion, 
Richard Eppes wrote," Noble old John Letcher, you have 

Eppes Journal, p. 302 
4 3 Ibid , p. 302 


done your duty, God Speed our righteous cause." 44 

Starting on April 20, Richard Eppes began attending regular 
meetings of his cavalry unit. Since his wife was pregnant 
at the time, he hoped he could remain home until the birth 
of his child. This was not to be the case and on May 20, 
he started out to join his unit. A few days later he 
found the unit and was mustered into the service of the 
Confederate Army as a private. 45 

Years later, in a letter to Governor Francis Pierpont of 
Virginia, Dr. Eppes explained his motives for joining 
the Confederate Army. Although he had not favored 
secession, he felt honor bound to support Virginia and 
stay with his cavalry unit. He had drilled with them 

before the war and now that war was a reality he felt he 

could not honorably resign. 

It is interesting to note at this point the obvious 
dislike Dr. Eppes showed for his medical training. When 
the war came doctors and surgeons were in great demand by 

44 Ibid, p. 305. 


Ibid. , p. 315. 

4 "Pierpont Letter, p. 2. 


the military and he could easily have obtained a commission 
as a doctor with the Confederate Army. Instead, he chose 
to serve his country as a private in the cavalry in spite 
of his well known dislike of horseback riding. 

In addition to serving in the army himself, Richard Eppes 
provided additional equipment to members of his unit at 
his own personal expense. He supplied his relatives as 
well as his friends. In all, he paid for the equipment 
of sixteen men. 

Just a few days before Dr. Eppes departure for his unit, the 
Confederate Army arrived at City Point. On May 3, Captain 
H. H. Cocke was given command of the James River and he 
sent a company of men to City Point under the command 
of a Captain Archer to prepare a defense of the region in 
view of the projected Northern attack. Dr. Eppes secured 
quarters for the troops with Mr. Moody, the Agent of the 
LL Railroad (Lynchburg?) at the new depot. On May 9, 
Dr. Eppes sent a gang of slaves to JFort Powhaten to help 

4 R 

with the construction of fortifications. ° 

47 Ibid ., p. 3 07. 
48 Ibid., pp. 312-313. 


Very little is known about the movements of Richard Eppes 
for the next several months. He was on active duty and 
away from home and was not able to keep up his journal. 
No letters written to his family during these months have 
been found, and it is possible that they were never written. 

On September 2, Dr. Eppes returned home to attend his wife 
during her confinement. Most of the entry on that date 
details briefly the movements of his unit up to that 
time. After the birth of his daughter, Agnes Horner Eppes, 
On September 8, he returned to the army. 

A few months after the birth of his daughter the peace of 
City Point was disturbed by the Civil War. In the Spring 
of 1862, the Union Army took over the whole Norfolk area 
and the James river was left exposed. In May, a flotilla 
of Union ironclads and gunboats moved up -the James river 
towards Richmond. Along the way they fired a few shells 


at City Point and Appomattox Manor. •. 

By May 9, Mrs. Eppes and her children were forced to flee 
their home for Petersburg for safety. The raid proved to 


4 *Lutz, p. 173. 


be transitory in nature but by mid-summer a more serious 
threat materalized when General George B. McClellen 
occupied City Point while advancing up the Peninsula 
formed by the James and York Rivers. The Petersburg Daily 
Express described the scene in the following words. 

The River is filled with vessels of 
every size and description, whose masts 
are seen as numerous as trees in a forest 
doted here and there with the black smoke 
pipes of steamers and steamships. The 
shore for miles is thickly covered with 
tents which present a grand and attractive 
spectacle. Numerous baloons may constantly 
be seen over this vast encampment, which but 
adds to the interest of the scene. The 
music from the bands and the beating of 
the drums can be distinctly heard on this 
side of the river. Altogether it is a scene 
which once witnessed can never be forgotten .50 

When the Union army withdrew from the City Point area in the 

summer of 1862, the returning citizens found that their 

losses were enormous. Damaged fields and homes, stolen 

horses and cattle and runaway slaves were common. Edmund 

Ruff in, a leading secessionist, became so unpopular with 

his neighbors in Prince George County that several of them 

threatened to hang him should he ever return to the area. 

50 Ibid., p. 167. 


On August 27, during the retreat of the Union Army, three 
barges of union soldiers landed at City Point to harass 
the area. Confederate pickets fired on the troops and 
forced them back. The gunboats in the river shelled City 
Point for thirty minutes before withdrawing from the area. 

In May 1863 Dr. Eppes was finally able to make an account- 
ing of the damage done to his land and property. He found 
that all but twelve of his slaves (from a pre-war total of 
127) had disappeared. None of these slaves ever returned 
to the property. What damage, if any, that was done to the 
mansion is not known. 

Richard Eppes ' career as a private in the cavalry lasted 
just over one year. On June 13, 1862, he received his 
discharge from the Confederate Army and furnished a substi- 
tute for the remaining part of his term of service. There 
is a second discharge for Dr. Eppes that was issued on 
September 10. Apparently sometime after his original 
discharge he was drafted into the army again. It is also 
possible that the man he furnished to take his place for 
his original discharge was not satisfactory and he had to 

51 Ibid. , p. 167. 


furnish another substitute. Dr. Eppes was enlisted in the 
army and discharged on the same day — September 10. Accord- 
ing to family tradition Dr. Eppes was forced to leave the 
army due to reasons of poor health. 



to j^XjXj "whom: it ?*<z^~sr CONCERN 

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Discharge of Dr. Richard Eppes from the Confederate Army on _^ 
June 13, 1862. **~~ K 
SOURCE: Eppes Family Files, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond' 
Virginia . Mssl, EP , 7_34a, 65-66 


ijilfer's lisrtorp.ia 

T®%al! w&«rflt lay Ctancwit 



' Company, 

who was enlisted the 
thousand ei^ht hundred and 

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discharged JVom the.Arm^rofJhe 

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lay of 

WRE 17 

Discharge of Dr. Richard Eppes from the Confederate Army on 
September 10, 1862. 

TRCE : Eppes Family Files, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond , 
Virginia . 




Richard Eppes was not to remain inactive for long. He was 
a qualified physician and the Confederate Army had great 
need for such men. He was again enlisted to serve the 
Confederate Army as a contract surgeon. He apparently held 
this job as a civilian employee of the army, and never at 
any time held a commission from the Confederate army, although 
he certainly could have obtained one had he so desired. Dr. 
Eppes was assigned to Petersburg, and remained there for 
the duration of the war. 

When the Union army returned to City Point in 1864, the 
Eppes Family fled to Petersburg for safety. They endured 
the Siege of Petersburg while living in the city. Dr. 
Eppes was in charge of the hospital. Since he never 
enjoyed the practice of medicine, he found his service as 
a physician during these years to be especially difficult. 
The death and suffering of the wounded was constant, and 
there was little medicine to help. 

While Dr. Eppes was working in Petersburg, U. S. Grant 
had headquarters on the grounds of his home at Appomattox 
Manor. Grant and his staff lived in tents, and later 
cabins erected on Dr. Eppes front lawn. The Army Quarter- 
master Corps Telegraph Services occupied the center portion 
of the home. The east wing of the house was not usable 
due to war damage. 


Dr. Eppes did manage to get his wife and children out of 
Petersburg in the Fall of 1864. They passed through the » 
Union lines and traveled to Philadelphia and lived the 
remainder of the war there. While traveling on the river 
they saw their home on the high bluff but were not able to 
stop. Mrs. Eppes pointed out Appomattox Manor to her 
children as the ship passed by, and told them to remember 
the house and their home, promising that they would return 
after the war. 52 

Dr. Eppes remained at Petersburg until the end of the war. 
When General Lee evacuated Petersburg in 1865, Dr. Eppes 
stayed behind to care for the sick and wounded. Soon 
after the Union army took Petersburg, a Union doctor 
visited Dr. Eppes and offered him all the medical supplies 
he needed. Dr. Eppes gratfully accepted the supplies and 
remembered the act of kindness. 

As soon as order was restored and the sick and wounded were 
cared for, Dr. Eppes took the Amnesty Oath required by 
President Lincoln. He turned to his estate in May 1865 


Cutchms Transcript, p. 4. 


and found it a scene of "perfect desolation; barns, stables, 

hay houses, dwellings and fences had, with scarcely an 

exception, disappeared. " He managed to put in a small 

corn crop, but could do no more until he obtained money 

for needed repairs and got the Union Army off of his land. 

His title to the property was now unclear because of his 

former status in the rebellion. He found that he was 

included in a class of people exempt from the President's 

Amnesty Proclamation. He was too wealthy to qualify since 

he was worth more than $20,000 on paper before the war. 

Until he could obtain clear title to his land, raise money 

and clear himself with the Federal Government, all efforts 

to repair and rebuild his land must remain paralyzed. 

Dr. Eppes traveled to Washington seeking help to obtain 
amnesty for himself. He also sent a personal letter to 
Governor Pierpont of Virginia on June 24, asking for his 


Pierpont Letter, p. 2 

54«rhe Reconstruction Plan of President Johnson was based 
on Lincoln's policies. This plan offered an amnesty to all 
formerly in rebellion, with the exception of certain pro- 
minent former Confederates in the army and the government. 
The plan also excluded Confederates who owned more than 
$20,000 worth of property. 


intervention in this case. There is no record of any 
answer received from these appeals. Dr. Eppes was forced 

to spend the remainder of the year pursuing the goals of 

pardon and clear title to his land. 

Richard Eppes started his journal again on September 1, 

1865; in his first entry he described the condition of his 


On the Hopewell farm adjoining City 
Point I can better describe it by saying 
it was desolation personfied, a perfect 
waste, not a house, fence, timber tree or 
scarcely tree of any kind standing, every- 
thing destroyed more than 500 acres of 
woodland cout down and totally destroyed 
300 of it magnificant timbered land. 
Along with the buildings all the farming 
implements cattle hogs and mules and 
horses, absolutely nothing saved from the 
wreak. In addition to everything belong- 
ing to the farm much of my household 
furniture that was stored there was 
destroyed. At City Point I found a good 
many temporary buildings and wharves 
erected on my property, all my old build- 
ings standing and my own dwelling house 
repaired which had been nearly destroyed 
during the McClellan Campaign. The 
grounds around my dwelling house were 
filled with many little huts having been 
the Headquarters of General Grant during 
the campaign around Petersburg, all of 


See Appendix 1 for copy of Richard Eppes' letter to 

Governor Pierpont of Virginia. 


shrubbery fruit trees and garden had been 
nearly destroyed and that along the river 
banks also much injured though most of 
the large shade ornamental trees were 
still standing. 56 

During the summer of 1865, Dr. Eppes visited his wife in 
Philadelphia and was able to borrow several thousand 
dollars from her family. With the money he could fix 
his home and restore his farm. On his return to Virginia, 
he purchased some surplus mules and horses at Richmond/ 
and hired his cousin, Mr. H. L. Cocke to take charge of 
his Bermuda Farm. There were rumors that the Freedman's 
Bureau was going to occupy his land at the Bermuda Farm, 
and he was most anxious to take possession and start 
working his land again. 

On October 3, 1865,116 received a letter from the Assistant 

Commissioner for the State of Virginia, restoring to him 

his land at City Point. 

Richard Eppes was still uneasy because he could not evict 
the many people who were living on his property, (these 


Eppes Journal 1865-1867, p. 2. 

"see Appendix II for letter from Assistant Commissioner, 
State of Virginia. 


people were living in the cabins on the grounds), and also 
within his house. He also could not touch or remove the 
cabins, wharves and stables that the army had erected. 
These buildings were all government property. Dr. Eppes 
had to use part of the money he borrowed from his wife's 
relatives in Philadelphia to purchase this surplus 
government property. Only then could be begin to dismantle 

On November 6, 18 65, he wrote a letter to Major General 
John Gibbon and asked that this property be evacuated. He 
cited personal finances and a need to get his family together 
again at his ancestral home as the main reasons for the 

return of the property. Only when he had his land returned 

could he again support himself. 

This appeal was rejected by Gibbon because General Grant's 
order of May 8, 1865 specified that City Point was reserved 
for military purposes. The order was still in force. 
Richard Eppes did manage to receive- a record of the people 

who were living at his home and the rent they were paying 

to the government. 


See Appendix III for letter to Gibbon. 

59 See Appendix IV for copy of letter listing people 

living at Appomattox Manor. 


Dr. Eppes traveled to Philadelphia in November 18 65 to 
visit his wife and to wait for the government to vacate 
his house and land. 

On December 26, 1865, the Army finally left City Point. The 
Eppes property was turned over to Dr. Eppes 1 cousin Mr. H. 
L. Cocke, who took charge of it in Dr. Eppes' absence. 
When Dr. Eppes heard the good news he immediately returned 
to City Point and took possession of his home and set up 
his living quarters in the parlor 

A quick inspection of his property revealed an active 
company of mixed colored and white harlots doing business 
just a few feet from Appomattox Manor. This operation 
had apparently been tolerated by the pervious occupants of 
the property. Dr. Eppes immediately evicted them and 
all other tenants from his property. 

The "ladies" were not to be so easily driven off. They 
returned on December 31, 1865 and shot up Appomattox Manor. 
Three of the five persons involved in the attack were 

6 "I 

reported to the authorities but nothing ever came of it. 


Ibid . , p. 26 . 

'Eppes Journal, p. 24. 


On January 4, 1866, Dr. Eppes came to an understanding with 
the government, wherein he agreed to purchase all the 
surplus government property on his land. The total cost 

for this property was $641.50, for which he received more 


than fair value. He considered it to be a very favorable 


Most of the cabins on the grounds were torn down but a few 
were left standing and rented out to negroes who worked as 
hired hands for Dr. Eppes. 

One cabin was missing from the property. This was General 
Grant's cabin, Grant donated his cabin to George H. Stuart, 
then President of the Sanitary Commission. Mr . Stuart removed 
it to Philadelphia where he set it up in Fairmount park in 
August 1865. 

Dr. Eppes was still not in sole possession' of his property. 
Many soldiers were in the area and they came and went to 
City Point at will. The 58th Pennsylvania proved to be an 
especially disorderly group, and Dr. Eppes described them 
as an armed mob. 

62 Ibid. 
63 Ibid, p. 29. 


At the end of January 18 66 / Dr. Eppes was summoned to 
appear before Brevet Brigader General Hill at the head- 
quarters of the 11th Maine to answer questions about 
government property. Dr. Eppes had already paid for the 
government property on his land, but General Hill still 
demanded the keys to one of the cabins on his grounds. 
In his journal Dr. Eppes stated that "Hill ... .demanded 
the key in the most insolent manner and threatened that 
if I did not give it up he would turn his soldiers loose 

upon my property and let them destroy it at their pleasure 

• • • • 

Dr. Eppes gave up the key and left for Petersburg, fearing 
that he could not control his temper. By February 3, 1866 
the 11th Maine and Hill were ordered to leave City Point 
and Eppes returned home. On February 11, 1866, Dr. Eppes 
received final and clear title to his property from the 

6 S 

Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands. 

On Marh 24, 1866, Dr. Eppes made the* following entry in his 


Today March 24, 1866 will be a day 
ever memorable in the Calender of our family: 

64 Ibid. 


See Appendix V. 


It has been marked by a return of the 
family of their old home at City Point 
after an absence of three years ten 
and a half months, having been driven 
from home on May 9, 1862 by the approach 
of the enemy gunboats up James river 
accompaning the advance of the Army of 
General McClellan up the Peninsulas and 
returned today March 24, 1866. My wife 
with George Boiling our former house 
servant superintended the move from 
Petersburg to City Point. I myself 
was a silent spectator at the request 
of my wife who preferred to have the 
entire management to which I agreed 
most cheerfully. 66 

Dr. Eppes had to spend about $3,000 to repair Appomattox 
Manor. He paid for the repairs by using the money he had 
borrowed from his wife's relatives in Philadelphia, and 
considered that to be a debt of honor and with this help 
he was soon able to return Appomattox Manor and his lands 
to a semblance of their former condition. 

Eventually, all the cabins on the grounds were removed 
except one, which was used as a school house. This too 
was eventually removed in 1916 to stem the tide of tour- 
ists who wanted to see the cabin and the site of Grant's 
headquarters during the siege of Petersburg. The only 

Ibid, p. 67. 


ew of the Civil War Cabin left standing on grounds of Appomattox 
nor taken in 1888. This picture is in error in calling this build- 
rants Office." • Grant's cabin was taken down in 1865 and sent to 
iladelphia as a present to George H. Stuart, President of the 
nitary Commission , who erected it in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia 
is cabin probably belonged to Brig. Gen. John R. Rawlins, who served 

Grant's Chief of Staff. 
e: Eppes Family Photo File, Virginia Historical Society , Richmond 
rginia . 

visible remains left today of the Civil War occupation of 
the grounds and house are a pile of bricks left from one 
of the cabin chimneys and cuts in the window sill in the 
dining room of Appomattox Manor where Grant ' s telegraph 
service wires ran into the house. 

Some old Confederate earthworks located on the east side 
of the house can also be seen. 


Chapter II 

U. S. Grant and the Establishment of City Point 

After the firing on Fort Sumter a spirit of martial ardor 
swept over both North and South. Northerners expected a 
short and easy war, while Southerners seemed oblivious to 
the overwhelming superiority in human and material 
resources against which they would have to contend. The 
five and one-half million free people of the eleven Con- 
federate states faced a population of twenty-two million 
in the twenty-three Union states. The manpower advantage 
of the North was enormous. 

The North also had other decided advantages. Over 80% of 
the factories and most of the coal and iron resources were 
located north of the Mason-Dixon line. Twenty-two thousand 
miles of railroads traversed the North as compared with 
nine thousand in the South. The North's railroad network 
included a series of vital trunk lines between East and 
West, while the sprawling Southern regions were but circui- 
tously and inefficiently bound together. 

In view of the advantages enjoyed by the North in the Civil 
War, the South made a remarkable showing. This was due, in 


part, to the advantage of fighting a defensive war. The 
North was compelled to both invade and occupy the South. 
Southern generals also had the advantage of shorter 
interior lines of communication for shifting troops from 
one front to another. 

The South also had a decided disadvantage because its 
source of supply of war materials was more vulnerable. 
There was also the problem of the disruption of daily 
life due to the marching of the armies through Southern 

Throughout the war public attention was focused on the 
East, where rival armies faced each other from capitals 
only 100 miles apart. Here the Confederate armies led 
by Joseph E. Johnston, and then by Robert E. Lee, repeatedly 
repelled Union invasions aimed at Richmond. General 
Irwin McDowell's army was turned back at Bull Run in 
Northern Virginia in July 18 61, and General George B. 
McClellan was beaten off in the ser-ies of hard fought 
battles that constituted the Peninsular Campaign of May- 
June 1862. Later that summer, Lee defeated another Union 
army led by General Pope in the Second Battle of Bull Run 


and followed up this victory, in September with an advance 
into Maryland where he was stopped at Antietam by McClellan 

Back in Virginia in late 18 62 and the spring and summer of 
18 63, Lee defeated Ambrose E. Burnside at Fredericksburg 
and Joseph E. Hooker at Chancellorsville. Once again Lee 
decided to invade the North and was stopped by Meade at 

While public attention was focused on the Eastern Theater 
of the war, the military doom of the Confederacy was being 
accomplished in the West. Here the Mississippi, Tennessee 
and Cumberland rivers afforded natural invasion routes for 
the combined operations of Union gunboats and armies, and 
here an unknown commander, Ulysses S. Grant, steadily and 
inexorably moved deeper into the South. Forts Henry and 
Donelson, guarding the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers, 
fell to Union forces in February 18 62. Moving South, 
Grant inflicted a severe blow on the main Confederate 
Army in the West at Shiloh in April^ and moved on into 
Nothern Mississippi. Meanwhile, Union gunboats moving up 
Mississippi, took New Orleans and moving down the river 


from the North took Memphis. The last Confederate strong- 
hold on the Mississippi, Vicksburg, fell to Grant in July 
1863, while General George Gordon Meade was turning back 
the Confederate tide at Gettysburg. The Confederacy was 
now cut in two, with the Mississippi River being the divid- 
ing line. 


Strategic, Economic and Political Implications 

of the 
Civil War to 1864 

The American Civil War was the world's first truly modern 
war. The conflict accelerated trends in tactics, industry 
and political development that had only just been apparent 
before the war. 

The first development was in the purley mechanical way in 
which men fight and kill one another. While Civil War 
muskets and rifles looked old-fashioned to the modern 
observers they are more closely related to the weapons 
of the First World War than to those of the Napoleonic 
Wars. During the Napoleonic Wars the range of an infantry- 
manfe musket was respectable but after 150 yards the accuracy 
was highly doubtful. For this reason, most advanced 
military thinkers subscribed to the theories of Antoine 
Jomini, a French officer, who served as a staff officer 
in Napoleon's army. Jomini considered the cutting of an 
opponent's lines of communications by a highly mobile 
army as the most desirable way to wage war. In battle, 


Jomini advocated that the best way to achieve victory was 
by a direct and concentrated strategic approach with the 
ultimate dependence on the massed frontal assault. This 
tactic had worked well on the battlefields of Europe and 
as late as 1859 during the War for Italian Independence, 
French troops had assaulted Austrian troops in fortified 
positions with success. Jomini ' s writings were held in 
great esteem at West Point during the early years of the 
nineteenth century. Generation after generation of 
future officers studied the Napoleonic Campaigns and 
learned from their Jomini. 

When the Civil War began these men were in the highest 
ranks of both the Union and Confederate armies, but with 
a proportionately higher number in the latter. Only after 
the slaughter at Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, and finally 
at Cold Harbor, did Jomini * s theories give way to those of 
another strategist, Dennis Hart Mahan. 

Mahan based his strategic tactics on the realities of 
modern technology. He preached a tactical system in which 

Edward Hagerman, "From Jomini to Dennis Hart Mahan: 
The Evolution of Trench Warfare in America," Civil War 
History, September 1967, p. 198. 


he advocated the primacy of active defense. "The chief 
object of entrenchments is to enable the assailed to meet 
the enemy with success, by first compelling him to approach 
under every disadvantage of position, and then when he 

has been cut up, to assume the offensive, and drive him 


back at the point of a bayonet." 

Mahan still believed it possible to carry out frontal 
assault but he thought them wasteful in human lives. A 
counter assault on the ranks of a defeated enemy was more 
preferable. On the eve of the American Civil War Mahan 
could see what was coming when he wrote: 

The art of fortification, in it 
progress, has kept pace with the measures 
of the attack; its successive changes 
having been brought about by changes 
either in the arms used by the assailant 
or by some new mode of assault. The same 
cause must continue to produce the same 
effects. At no past period has mechanical 
invention, in its bearing on the military 
art, been more active than at the present 
day.... The great destruction of life, in 
open assaults, by columns exposed within 
so long a range, must give additional value 
to entrenched fields of battle; and we may 
again see fieldworks play the part they 
did in the defense of Sebastopol; and posi- 

2 Ibid . , p. 204 


tions so chosen and fortified that not 
only will the assailant be forced to 
entrench himself to assail them, but 
will find the varying phases of his 
attack met by corresponding changes 
in the defensive dispositions. 

Gradually as the war progressed, the use of trenches 
increased until late in 1864 when Grant and Lee were in 
almost totally static positions for months at a time. 

This new style of warfare employing large numbers of men 
facing each other in battlefield trenches for months at a 
time required tremendous amounts of supplies. Again, in 
supplying and equipping the armies the Civil War was an 
example of the first modern war and a precursor in the 
First World War. 

The longer the war lasted, the greater were the demands 
that the armies placed on the civilian sectors to provide 
food and munitions needed to continue the conflict. 
Northern industry grew dramatically during the war. Union 
sea power maintained trade routes to foreign markets, 
while the war stimulated demand for thousands of tons of 

Mahan, A Summary of the Course of Permanent Forti- 
fication and 'the Attack and Defense of Permanent Works , 
(Richmond, 1863), pp. 229-230. The text of this book 
suggests that it was written before the war. 


war material. In Philadelphia, New York, Boston and 
Chicago new factories were built to meet the demands of 
wartime production. There seemed to be no end to govern- 
ment money for war contracts. Fortunes were made and a 
whole new generation of millionaires were spawned by the 
conflict. Paper money, a high protective tariff, the 
Homestead Act and the National Bank Act, all created a new 
prosperity in the North. 

Northern agriculture also grew under wartime stimulation. 
American food not only kept the Union armies in the field 
well fed but also fed Europe. England was even more 
dependent on Northern Wheat than on Southern Cotton. 
Northern railroads, canals, coastal shipping, and inland 
rivers all provided a tight transportation network to 
keep troops and supplies on the move. By way of contrast, 
even in the best of times, the Confederacy, had trouble 
keeping its armies supplied. Railroads deteriorated and 
its ports were closed by blockade. Food could be produced 

Andrew Carnegie, John D. Rockefeller, Edward Harriman 
and J. Pierpont Morgan were all young men in 1861 who got 
their start from war production or prosperity induced by 
wartime contracts. 


but could not be transported to where it was needed. 
Lee's invasions of Maryland in 1862 and Pennsylvania in 
1863 were prompted in part by the shortage of supplies 
for the army in the South. 

The Civil War was also a modern war because of its ideo- 
logical implication. Prior to the eighteenth century, con- 
flicts in Western Civilization were usually fought for 
limited ends. A few short battles were usually enough to 
decide the question of victory or defeat. Wars were 
limited and controlled. The American Revolutionary War 
and Civil War demonstrated a new type of conflict — a war 
fought for total victory or to achieve some irreducible 
end. There could be no compromise with the goals of 
American Independence in 1776 or with Confederate Inde- 
pendence in 1861. The Southern States wanted absolute 
independence while the Northern states wanted absolute 
union. The stakes were immense and the total populations 
of both North and South were involved. Since the Civil 
War was a total war almost any behavior or destruction of 
property could be justified. Sherman's march through 
Georgia was but a preview to the destruction of civilian 
targets in World War II. 


By early 18 64, all of these threads had come together in 
America. By 1864, both North and South had fought for more 
than three years in a war that could offer no compromise. 
The use of weapons of vast destruction was well established 
and tactics were changing to meet the need of the new 
technology. The economic potential of the North was 
beginning to tell as Northern industry poured out a cornu- 
copia of goods and services. 

Militarily and diplomatically the South was isolated. It 
was cut off from normal channels of trade and commerce and 
split in two. Still, it refused to give up. All of the 
elements for a Northern victory were present and the South 
still refused to admit defeat. 

In order to end the war the North needed a grim determi- 
nation to see the job through and the right general. Many 
men had tried to cut short the career of Robert E. Lee and 
the Army of Northern Virginia but all . had failed. As 
Lincoln looked over his commanders in March of 18 64, he 
turned to the man from the West who had captured two 
southern armies and had proved himself to be unusually 
capable. In that same month he chose U. S. Grant to tie 


together the loose ends of the war and provide the spark 
needed to prod the Union armies on to complete victory. 


Appointment of General Grant to Power 

Beginning of the Siege of Petersburg 

By 1864, after three years of bitter civil war, the con- 
flict seemed no nearer a resolution than it had been in 
1861. While Lee had been turned back at Gettysburg and 
the Confederacy cut in two at Vicksburg, the principal 
battleground in Virginia remained stalemated. The Army 
of Northern Virginia was wounded but still perfectly 
capable of defending itself. Its commander, Robert E. 
Lee, enjoyed an almost unblemished reputation among the 
officers and men of the Army of the Potomac and the 
people of both North and South. In his memoirs, Grant 
wrote : 

His praise, was sounded through- 
out the entire North after every action 
he was engaged in: the number of his 
forces was always lowered and that of 
the National forced exaggerated.' He 
was a large, austere man, and I judge 
difficult of approach to his subordi- 
nates. To be extolled by the entire 
press of the South after every engage- 
ment, and by a portion of the press 
North with equal vehemence, was cal- 
culated to give him the entire con- 
fidence of his troops and to make him 
feared by his antagonists. It was not 
an uncommon thing for my staff officers 
to hear from Eastern officers, "Well, 


Grant has never met Bobby Lee yet." 
There were good and true officers 
who believe now that the Army of 
Northern Virginia was superior to 
the Army of the Potomac 5 

Before Lee could be defeated and the rebellion crushed, 

the high command of the Union armies needed to be reorganized 

Just as in modern times, during the Civil War, the President 
of the United States was Commander-in-Chief of the armed 
forces. At the start of the war the army was under the 
direct control of the Secretary of War, who served in the 
President's cabinet. The army was also under the control 
of a General-in-Chief who was subject to the orders of both 
the Secretary of War and the President. The General-in- 
Chief was assisted by a General Staff which consisted of 
various bureaus located in the War Department. In 1861 
these bureaus were as follows: 

1. Adjutant General 

2. Inspector General 

3. Quartermaster General" 

4 . Surgeon General 

5. Judge Advocate 

U. S. Grant, Personal Memoirs (Charles L. Webster & 
Company, New York, 1886), Vol. II, pp. 291-292. 


6. Chief of Ordnance 

7. Commissary General 

8. Chief of Engineers 

9. Chief of Topographical Engineers 

(the above two were merged in 1863) 

10. Chief Signal Officer 

_ 6 

11. Provost Marshal General 

The problem in the command structure of the Union army in 

1861 was that the General-in-Chief was handicapped by the 
fact that he had no control over these bureaus and actually 
functioned as an advisor to both of the civilian superiors. 
In 18 61 this office was held by Brevet Lieutenant General 
Scott who was too old and disabled to exert an important 
influence. Scott was succeeded in the Fall of 1861 by 
Major General George B. McClellan, who was succeeded in July 

1862 by Major General Henry Halleck. Halleck did not 
assume a field command or take responsibility for the 
strategic direction of the armies. He acted as a military 
advisor to both Lincoln and Edwin Stanton and in turn saw 
to it that their wishes were communicated to the Generals 
in the field. 


See The Development of the General Staff , (unpublished 
document, Petersburg National Battlefield Park) for more 


This situation proved to be unsatisfactory. Strong men in 
command of various Union armies exerted themselves accord- 
ing to individual opinions with the result that the war 
effort lacked the necessary coordination. If Lee were to 
be defeated this lack of coordination had to end, and a 
new strong man with absolute authority appointed to direct 
the war effort. 

On February 26, 1864, Congress revived the rank of Lieutenant 
General, with the understanding that this rank would be given 
to General Grant. This grade had originally been created 
for General Washington and had thus far been held by no 
other officer in the army. Scott's highest rank was 
Brevet Lieutenant General. 

During the debate in Congress prior to the recreation of 
the rank of Lieutenant General/ it was obvious that Congress 
had Grant in mind for the job. The representative from 
Grant's home town in Galena, Illinois, said: 

I am not here to speak for General 
Grant. No man with his consent has ever 
mentioned his name in connection with any 
position. I say what I know to be true 
when I allege that every promotion he has 


received since he first entered the 
Service to put down this rebellion was 
moved without his knowledge or consent; 
and in regard to this very matter of 
lieutenant-general, after the bill was 
introduced and his name mentioned in 
connection therewith, he wrote me and 
admonished me that he had been highly 
honored already by the Government, and 
did not ask or deserve anything more in 
the shape of honors or promotion; and 
that a success over the enemy was what 
he carved about everything else; that he 
only desired to hold such an influence over 
those under his command and to use them to 
the best advantage to secure that end. 7 

The orders assigning Grant to the rank of Lieutenant 
General were issued on March 19, 1864. Grant was made 
General-in-Chief of all the Union armies and Lincoln gave 

him his personal assurance that he was to be allowed to 

exercise the real functions of the office. 

According to his orders, Grant was assigned command of the 
Armies of the United States with the Headquarters of the 
Army located in Washington and also with Grant in the field 

7 William R. Church, Ulysses S. Grant (Garden City 
Publishing Co., New York, 1926) pp. 221-222. 

^An interesting problem faced by Lincoln and Stanton 
was what to do with Halleck r who already occupied the office 
of General-in-Chief. Halleck, being a good soldier, pro- 
vided the solution himself when he resigned his position 
to make way for Grant. Halleck was appointed Chief of 
Staff of the army and continued on with his duties in 
Washington. He kept his office but changed his title. 


General Orders War Department 

No. 98 Adjutant General's Office 

Washington March 12, 1864 

The President of the United States orders as follows 

1. Major General H. W. Halleck is, at his own request, 
relieved from duty as General-in-Chief of the Army, 
and Lieutenant General U. S. Grant is assigned command 
of the Armies of the United States. The Headquarters 
of the Army will be in Washington, and also with 
Lieutenant General Grant in the field. 

11. Major General H. W. Halleck is assigned to duty in 

Washington, as Chief of Staff of the Army, under the 
direction of the Secretary of War and the Lieutenant 
General commanding. His orders will be obeyed and 
respected accordingly. 

By order of the Secretary of War. 

E. D. Townsend g 

Assistant Adjutant General 

General Orders 1864, Vol. 1, Washington, 18 65 


Although the orders state that the headquarters will be 
both in Washington and with General Grant in the field, 
the implication is that the civilian control of the army 
will be exercised from Washington, as had always been 
true, and that actual military control was to be exercised 
by General Grant in the field. Since control had previously 
been exercised by Halleck from Washington, there would be no 
point in reviving the grade of Lieutenant General unless a 
drastic change was needed. In fact, Grant was now given 
complete military control of the Armies of the United States 
and this control remained with him whether he was in the 
field or in Washington. After the surrender of Lee at 
Appomattox Courthouse, Grant returned to Washington and on 
April 13 issued General Order No. 64 establishing Washington 
as his headquarters. ° 


General Orders War Department 

No. 64 Adjutant General's Office 

Washington, D. C., April 

_ / 13, 1865 

The Headquarters of the Armies of the United States are 
established at Washington, D. C. 

By command of Lieutenant General Grant. 

W. A. Nichols 

Assistant Adjutant General 

General Orders 18 65, Washington 1865. 


In General Grant's Memoirs, he clearly stated what his 
position was and what was expected of him. He was Commander 
in Chief of the Union Armies in the field and was charged 
with the chief responsibility for ending the War. Grant 
first believed that he could remain in the West as com- 
manding general but a quick trip to the eastern theater 
of the war convinced him otherwise. General Lee and 
the main Confederate resistance was in Virginia and Grant 
determined to make his headquarters there. 

Grant had known General George Gordon Meade, commanding 
General of the Army of the Potomac, slightly during the 
Mexican War. Grant was a stranger to the other officers 
and men of the Army of the Potomac and this made important the 
necessity for a relationship with Meade of complete trust. 
Meade offered to resign his command, or to allow himself to 
to be replaced to please Grant. Grant was impressed with 
Meade's sincerity and assured him of his faith and confi- 
dence. Writing in his memoirs years later, Grant said of 
Meade's offer: 

11 Grant f Memoirs, vol. 11, p. 116. 


This incident gave me even a more 
favorable opinion of Meade than did his 
great victory at Gettysburg the July 
before. It is men who wait to be 
selected, and not those who seek, from 
whom we may always expect the most 
efficient service. 2 

While Meade's relationship with Grant proved to be a cordial 
one and the two men worked well together, there were awkward 
times for both men. Commenting on this relationship with 
Meade, Grant said: 

Meade's position afterwards proved 
embarrassing to me if not to him. He was 
commanding an army and, for nearly a year 
previous to my taking command of all the 
armies, was in supreme command of the 
Army of the Potomac — except from the 
authorities at Washington. All other 
general officers occupying similar 
positions were independent in their com- 
mands. I tried to make General Mead's 
position as nearly as possible what it 
would have been if I had been in Washing- 
ton or any other place away from his 
command. I therefore gave all orders for 
the movements of the Army of the. Potomac 
to Meade to have them executed. To avoid 
the necessity of having to give orders 
direct, I established my headquarters near 
his, unless there were reasons for locating 
them elsewhere. This sometimes happened, 
and I had on occasions to give orders 
direct to troops affected " 

12 Ibid., p. 117. 
13 Ibid., pp. 117-118. 


Meade confirms this relationship with Grant in a letter 
written on May 19, 1864, in which he states: 

Coppeein his Army Magazine says, "The 
Army of the Potomac, directed by Grant, 
commanded by Meade, and led by Hancock, 
Sedgwick and Warren," which is quite a 
good distinction, and about hits the 
nail on the head.l^ 

Meade was still in command of the Army of the Potomac, but 
Grant was the man who gave him his orders. 

Grant lost no time in formulating his plans for the spring 
offensive. In a confidential letter to Sherman on April 1, 
18 64, he outlined his plan and showed his authority. 

WASHINGTON, D. C. , April 4, 18 64. 
It is my design, if the enemy keep 
quite and allow me to take the initiative 
in the spring campaign, to work all parts 
of the army together, and somewhat towards 
a common center ... I have sent orders to 
Banks.... to finish up his present 
expedition against Shreveport with all 
dispatch: to turn over the defense of Red 
River to Genl. Steele and the navy...; to 
abandon all of Texas, except the Rio 
Grande, and to hold that "with not to exceed 
four thousand men; to reduce the number 
necessary to hold it, and to collect from 
from his command not less than 25,000 men. 

Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade (Charles 
Scribner's Sons, New York, 1913), vol. 11, pp. 197-198. 


To this I will- add 5,000 men from 
Missouri. With this force he is to 
commence operations against Mobile as 
soon as he can. . . 

Gillmore joins Butler with 
10,000 men (from South Carolina), and 
the two operate against Richmond from 
the south side of the James River. 
This will give Butler 33,000 men.... I 
will stay with the Army of the Potomac, 
increased by Burnside's corps (Ninth) 
of not less than 25,000 effective men, 
and operate directly against Lee's army, 
wherever it may be found. Sigel collects 
all his available force in two columns, 
one under Ord and Averell, to start 
from Beverly (West) , Virginia; and the 
other under Crook, to start from Charles- 
ton on the Kanawha, to move against the 
Virginia and Tennessee Railroad... You 
I propose to move against Johnston's 
army, to break it up and to get into the 
interior of the enemy's country as far as 
you can, inflicting all the damage you 
can against their war resources. .. - 

Grant was also able to choose his own staff and he drew upon 
the best men in the army. Many of these men had served 
with him in the West or were friends of Grant from civilian 
life. They proved to be a capable group. Included in his 
staff were the following: 

15 Matthew Forney Steele, American Campaigns , (Combat 
Forces Press, Washington, D. C, 1951) V. 1, pp. 229-230. 



Brig. Gen. John R. Rawlins - Chief of Staff 

Lt. Col. C. B. Comstock, ADC Engr. 

Lt. Col. Orville E. Babcock, ADC 

Lt. Col. Horace Porter, ADC Engr. 

Lt. Col. F. T. Dent, ADC 

Lt. Col. Adam Badeau, Military Secretary 

Lt. Col. William R. Rowley, Military Secretary 

Lt. Col. Ely S. Parker, Military Secretary (Replaced Rowley 
30 August 18 64) 

Lt. Col. T. S. Bowers, As st. Adjutant General 

Lt. Col. W. L. Duff, Asst. Inspector General 

Capt. H. W. Janes, Asst. Quartermaster 

Capt. Peter T. Hudson, ADC 

Lt. William M. Dunn, Jr., ADC to Chief of Staff 

Brig. Gen Rufus Ingalls, Chief Quartermaster 

Lt. Col. M. R. Morgan, Chief Commissary 

Brig. Gen M. R. Patrick, Provost Marshal General 

Brig. Gen George H. Sharpe, Asst. Provost Marshal General 

Capt. Amos Webster, Asst, Quartermaster 

Maj . Gen John G. Barnard, Chief Engineer 

Asst. Surgeon E.D.W. Breneman (For Headquarters Personnel) 


Headquarters Orderlies, Guards, Messengers- 
Cos B,F,K, 5th US Cavalry - Capt. Julius W. Mason 
4th US Infantry - Capt Avery B. Cain 1 

Grant was now the controller of the grand strategy of the 
war. Grant knew how to end the war. His strategy was 
simply to apply relentless pressure on the Confederate 
Armies and to keep pounding away at the Confederacy until 
its collapse and the people of the South had had enough of 
war. Included in his plans was the intention of occupying 
enemy territory and capturing key positions such as 
Richmond and Atlanta. Coordination of these efforts would 
prove to be the key to Grant's success or failure. The 
coordination of military effort plus the application of 
superior northern economic and manpower resources would 
bring eventual victory to the North. 

^Henry Coppee in his book Grant and His Campaigns 
gives a good background description for every man on Grant's 
staff during this time. 


The Movement to City Point 

On March 24 , 1864, General Grant established his headquarters 
at Culpeper Court House with the Army of the Potomac. Meade 
retained command of the Army of the Potomac, and all orders 
to it were transmitted through him. Grant's main objective 
was Lee's army, which was fortified in its intrenchments 
behind the Rapidan. In this position the army was unas- 
sailable from frontal assault. In order to defeat Lee, 
Grant had to turn his flanks and force Lee out into the 
open. Grant made his move on May 4, 1864, at which time 
the Federal Army numbered 121,000 men; General Lee commanded 
62,000 men. 

Grant's secondary objective was to destroy all communica- 
tions between Richmond and the deep South. In maneuvering 
to attack the railroad lines upon which Lee and Richmond 
depended, Grant hoped to force Lee to leave his fortified 
positions and fight on terms more acceptable to the Army 
of the Potomac-out in the open. 

Lee had to defend four specific railroads. These were 
first, the Virginia Central Railroad, which connected Richmond 
with Shenandoah Valley, the great food supplier to Richmond 



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This map shows the location of the Army of the 
Potomac and the Army of Northern Virginia at 
the start of the Wilderness Campaign on May 3, 
1864 . 

SOURCE: Vincent J. Eposito , Atlas to Accompany 
Steel's American Campaigns , West Point, 1953, 
p. 120. 


58 < 

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and Lee's Army. Second, the Virginia and Tennessee Rail- 
road, which extended from Lynchburg westward to the Missis- 
sippi. From Lynchburg the railroad connected with Richmond 
by the Orange and Alexandria and the Virginia Central Rail- 
roads. Third, was the Richmond and Danville Railroad, which 
connected Richmond and the deep South. Fourth, was the 
Petersburg and Weldon Railroad, which connected Richmond 
with the length of the Atlantic seaboard. This line was 
of extreme importance to Lee and the capital because it 

linked Richmond with Wilmington, South Carolina, the one 

remaining seaport of the Confederacy. 

On May 4/ 1864, Grant crossed the Rapidan on his left to 
avoid the intrenchments that covered Lee's front. Lee did 
not dispute Grant's crossing but struck at him one day 
later in the dense forest. 

This was the same area that had witnessed a previous Union 
defeat the year before at Chancellorsyille. The forests 
were thick, and it was difficult to tell friend from foe. A 


For a more detailed discussion of these railroads and 

their strategic importance in 1864-1865, see John Biglow, The 

Principles of Strategy , (Greenwood Press, New York) , pp. 



Union officer, Robert Robertson, writing years later 
described the fighting during these early days of the cam- 


The Wilderness is a densely wooded 
region of great extent, remarkable on 
account of its dreary and dismal woods. 
A dense undergrowth of scraggy pines, 
dwarfed oaks and laurel bushes has 
sprung up, while in the low points are 
sluggish streams and dank marshes 
chocked with alders, twined closely with 
luxuriant tangled and prickly vines, 
making many places almost inaccessible. 

At daybreak the reveille sounded 
and one could see men arising from 
amid stacks of arms. Evening shades 
fell fast in the gloomy recesses of 
these dark woods, and the darkness and 
undergrowth prevented any true alignment. 
Only by the flash of the volleys did we 
know where the enemy was with whom we 
were engaged. Night soon wrapped 
those gloomy woods in total darkness, 
and still the fight raged on. We saw 
no enemy, but we were so close that the 
flashes from their muskets and ours 
seemed to mingle, and we fired only at 
their line of fire and they at ours. It 
was a battle fought where maneuvering 
was impossible, where the lines of battle 
were invisible to their commanders, and 
where the enemy also was j.iivisible. 

Yet in that gloomy region of death 
nearly 200,000 men were grappling in one 
deadliest struggles of the war.l° 

l^Otto Eisenschiml and Ralph Newman, The Civil War 
(Grosset & Dunlap Inc., New York, 1956), vol. 1, pp. 560-561 


Conditions were so confused at this time that it was 
impossible to establish lines. Another Union soldier, 
Augustus Buell, wrote of the battle: 

A man of the 44th New York, whom 
I knew, got lost in an attack in the 
afternoon of the fifth and after dark 
found himself away down among the troops 
of the 2nd Corps. He had passed at 
least two miles in the rear of the Rebel 
lines, and through them twice, unchalleng- 
ed . He told me that when he came to the 
2nd Corps front about ten o'clock at 
night and was halted, he answered, "I 
belong to the 44th New York. Who in hell 
are you?" He hadn't the remotest idea 
where he was. 

One old fellow who was brought up 
out of the brush belonged to the 5th 
Texas and had been hit in the shin by a 
bullet. Some of the boys asked him what 
he thought of the battle. His reply was, 
"Battle be damned! It ain't neither 
front nor rear. It's all a damned mess! 
And our two armies ain't nothing but 
howl in' mobs! "19 

Grant next moved his army to Spotsylvania and said in his 

memoirs, "My object in moving to Spotsylvania was twofold: 

first, I did not want Lee to get back to Richmond in time 

to crush Butler before I could get there: second, I wanted 

to get between his army and Richmond, if possible and if 

19 Ibid., pp. 561-562. 


not to draw him into the open." Lee managed to get to 

Spotsylvania before Grant and was waiting for him. The 
fighting was severe and confused again as was noted by- 
Theodore Guish who was in Sedgwick's Corps : 

It was a hand-to-hand conflict, resem- 
bling a mob in its character. The contest- 
ants seemed to forget all the noble ele- 
ments of manhood. Men were transformed to 
giants. The air was filled with shouts, 
cheers, commands, oaths, the sharp reports 
of rifles, the dull, heavy thuds of clubbed 
muskets, the swish of swords and sabers, 
groans and prayers. Occasionally our men 
would drop their guns and clench the enemy 
in single combat, until Federal and Confed- 
erate would roll on the ground in a death 
struggle. Our officers fought like demons. 
Revolvers and swords, which up to that hour 
had never seen actual service, received 
their baptism of blood. As the moments 
passed, the valor of the men increased. 
Many of those who were wounded refused to 
go to the rear but, with blood pouring from 
their wounds continued to fight. 21 

Grant's attack on Lee at Spotsylvania was repulsed after 
severe fighting. General Sheridan with the Cavalry Corps 
cut loose from the main army and defeated J.E.B. Stuart at 
the Battle of Yellow Tavern. Stuart died of wounds received 
in the fight. 

20 Grant, Memoirs , p. 211, 
21 Ibid. , p. 572. 


On May 21, 1864, Grant determined to strike at Lee again. 
Grant detached a corps toward the Richmond and Fredericks- 
burg Railroad hoping to draw Lee out of his fortified 
position to attack the corps. Lee was too weak to attack 
and simply moved a corps on a parallel road in the same 
direction. Grant moved forward with his entire army 
followed by Lee. Both armies met on the North Anna, with 
Lee occupying very strong defensive positions. Sheridan 
returned to the main army by this time having destroyed 
about 20 miles of track belonging to the Virginia Central 
Railroad. During this time, from May 21 to 26, 18 64, Grant 
sent part of three army Corps to destroy track of the 
Richmond and Fredericksburg and Virginia Central Railroad. 
Between May 27 and June 11, 18 64, Grant again tried to 
maneuver his army between Lee and Richmond. Both armies 
met at Cold Harbor in early June, with Lee again taking up 
fortified positions. Grant attacked Lee repeatly at Cold 
Harbor only to see his army thrown back with heavy losses. 
The power of the defensive positions established by Lee was 
too strong to be overcome by mass assault. Thousands were 
killed in the assaults. Robert Stiler, a Confederate 
artillery Officer, wrote of the battle: 


We were in line of battle at Cold 
Harbor from the first to the twelfth of 
June — say twelve days. The battle proper 
did not last perhaps that many minutes. 
In some respects at least it was one of 
the notable battles of history — certainly 
in its brevity measured in time and its 
length measured in slaughter, as also in 
the disproportion of the loses. For my 
own part, I could scarcely say whether it 
lasted eight or sixty minutes, or eight 
or sixty hours, all my powers being con- 
centrated on keeping the guns supplied 
with ammunition. 

Here, then, is the secret of the 
otherwise inexplicable butchery. A little 
after daylight on June 3, 1864, along the 
lines of our salient, our infantry and our 
artillery fired at very short range into a 
mass of men twenty-eight deep, who could 
neither advance nor retreat, and the most 
of who could not even discharge their 
muskets at us. 

Federal writers who have written about 
this battle speak about our works as 
bastions no troops could be expected to 
take, and any tloopA should be expected to 

About the works along our part of the 
line I can speak with exactness and certainty. 
I saw them. I helped with my own hands to 
make them, I fought behind them. They were a 
single line of earth about four -feet high and 
three to five feet thick. It had no ditch or 
obstruction in front. There was no physical 
difficulty in walking right, over that bank. 
I did it often myself, saw- many others do it, 
and twice saw a line of Federal troops walk 
over it . 

I wonder if it could have been the imzn 
behind the works! 22 


Ibid. , pp. 581-582. 


The defeat at Cold Harbor had a decided effect on Grant's 
future strategy. General James H. Wilson described the 
mood at Grant ' s Headquarters . 

At Grant's headquarters I found, in 
the early days of June, a feeling of des- 
pondency. Grant himself, while neither 
cast down nor discouraged, evidently felt 
disappointed at his failure to overwhelm 
Lee. Both Rawlins and Dana, able and 
experienced men, were disposed to hold 
Grant himself responsible for making head- 
on attacks against entrenched and almost 
impregnable positions. They feared that 
the policy of the direct and continuous 
attack, if presisted in, would ultimately 
so decimate and discourage the rank and 
file that they could not be induced to face 
the enemy at all . 

Certain it is that the "smash- 'em-up" 
policy was abandoned about that time and 
was never again favored at headquarters. 23 

Grant now decided on another strategy and determined that 

he would put his entire army south of the James River. 

Halleck had suggested this movement. 

Grant made careful preparations. On June 14, 1864 Grant and 
Butler conferred at Bermuda Hundred- and issued orders for the 
attact on Petersburg. Early on the morning of June 15, 18 64, 

23 Ibid . 



General W. F. Smith's Corps advanced to take the town. 
Smith confronted the enemy's pickets in front of Peters- 
burg before daylight, but for some reason did not attack 
until 7 p.m., when he carried enemy's outworks, driving the 
Confederates back to-and-one-half miles, and capturing 
both artillery and prisoners. The road to Petersburg was 
now open and the decisive blow needed to take Petersburg, 
and possibly end the war, could not be given. Smith 
delayed and the opportunity was lost. Grant hurriedly 
moved his army to Petersburg and by June 16, most of his 
troops were in front of the city. Lee had been fooled. 
The garrison at Petersburg numbered only 2,500 men and 
starting on the 14th and 15th of June increased slowly to 
between 10,00 and 15,000 by June 17th. Lee and the bulk 
of his army were north of Petersburg, still under the 
impression that Grant was aiming at Richmond. Lee learned 
on the 17th of Grant's crossing of the James, and on the 
18th he arrived at Petersburg with his army. Repeated 
federal assaults failed to dislodge Lee and resulted in 
the Siege of Petersburg for the next ten months. Grant 
set up his headquarters at City Point, Virginia, and 
prepared to wait out Lee and dislodge him from his prize. 
The Siege of Petersburg and the last critical stage of the 
war had begun. 


Life at City Point 1864-1865 

Wednesday, June 15, 1864 was a critical day for the Union Army. 
Petersburg, the back door to Richmond, was practically within grasp. 
While the Union Army prepared to assault the city, General P.G.T. 
Beauregard had only three thousand men at his immediate disposal for 
defense of this vital rail link of the Confederacy. General Lee was 
north of Petersburg with the bulk of his army expecting Grant to try 
another direct assault on Richmond. Grant had slipped away from Lee 
and was concentrating his forces for the move against Petersburg. Lee was 
out- general ed and confused for the moment. 


The end of the war was now at hand, if only Petersburg could be quickly 
taken. It was not to be. Confusion of orders, lack of rations, poor 
maps, missed opportunities and general incompetence, all combined to 
save the Confederacy. The. attack was delayed. When it was finally 
made at .p.m. the union forces overran several miles of Confederate 
trenches and pushed Beauregard back. Beauregard stiffened his lines 
and held the Union army short of its goal - the city of Petersburg. 

During the night Beauregard stripped his Bermuda defense line facing 
Butler to a handful of men and concentrated all his available forces 
at Petersburg. He also wrote to Lee informing hin of his peril. Union 


forces attacked in the morning and were thrown back once more. Lee, now 
realizing his danger, moved his army to Petersburg and arrived there 
on Friday June 17. Repeated federal assaults were repelled and by 
Saturday, General Grant decided that Petersburg could not be carried 
By a general assault and would have to be invested and cut off by a 

Grant arrived at City Point on June 15, and decided to make his 
headquarters camp there. The choice of City Point as Grant's 

headquarters was easy to make. City Point was located at the junction of 
the James and the Appomattox Rivers and was within easy water communication 
with. Fort Monroe and Washington, as well as Butler's army, which was to 
occupy positions on both, sides of the James. The City Point Railroad 
ran from the waterfront to points south of Petersburg, immediately in 
the rear of the Union army. It served as a natural supply link for 
Grant. The area was also very majestic, situated high on the bluff 
along the river. Grant lived in a tent on the front lawn of Dr. Eppes' 
home, Appomattox Manor. Most of the land at ; City Point belonged to 
Dr. Eppes. City Point also had other advantages to recommend it. It was 

The War of the Rebellion, Official Records of the Union and Confederate 
Armies CGovernment Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 1892) , Vol. XL, 
Part IT, p. 72 hereafter cited as O.R. 


situated far enough from the front and had a commanding view of the 
immediate area to be readily defensible. Still, railroad and water 
communications were good enough to keep the army supplied and to keep 
Grant informed of the progress of the siege. Telegraphic communications 
were also easy to establish with the other war fronts and Washington. 
City Point was very convenient for Grant, and he made use of its assets. 

When Grant moved into City Point on the evening of June 15, 1864, he 
expected a short stay. Tents were set up on the front lawn of 
Appomattox Manor in the form of a rectangle with two ends and the 
south side occupied while the north side was open. The east end 

extended to the bluff bank of the Appomattox River, perhaps fifty to 

sixty feet in height. 


Sylvanius Cadwallader in his book Three Years with Grant (Alfred A. 

Knopf, New York, 1955) describes the camp as follows: 

"Headquarters proper were in the form of a parallelogram with, the two 
ends, and the North side closely filled with tents. The South side 
was open. The West end extended to the bluff bank of the Appomattox 
River, perhaps fifty to sixty feet in height/-' 

Cadwallader' s description does not agree with the U.S. Military Map 

of City Point or available photographs. I believe he had his directions 

confused and was in error in saying that the tents formed a parallolegram. 

The only other explanation might be that when the cabins were put 

up in November 1864, to replace the tents they were situated differently 

from the way Cadwallader described the tents. 


Figure 20. Military Railroad Map of 

— City Point Virginia, June 1865. 
Source: National Archives, Record 

— Group #77-Rds 197. 



- M4]fit 

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In the following two photographs we can see Grant's headquarters tent 
on the grounds of Dr. Eppes' home. In the second photograph we can 
see Grant sitting under a shade tree in a relaxed manner. At this time 
he had lost 49,000 men in three battles in the Wilderness, Spotsylvania 
and Cold Harbor and could see no end to the war. His reputation was 
hanging in the balance. 






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afil* ' 

gure 21. Front lawn of Appomattox Manor in June 1865 

UTCe: SSS^IS/V' U '?' ^ Milltaiy HisioTy Ins titute, Carlisle 
tfarraclcs, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Mollus Collection #869. 

Figure 22. Grant sitting on the front law of Appomattox Manor 
qnilTr . .^ m frc ^ t of his office tent in the summer of 1864. 
source: Library of Congress, #565B, B8184-B-758 


For the first few days following Grant's arrival at City Point the 
James River was covered with vessels and transports which had followed 
the army with supplies. Swarms of civilians, employees of the 
Sanitary and Christian Commissions, sutlers, volunteer nursers, 
sightseers and others ,all came to the camp area. According to 

They swarmed around the wharves, filled up the narrow avenues 
at the landing between the six -mule teams which stood there by 
the acre, plunged frantically across the road in front of your 
horse wherever you rode, piled everybody with ridiculous questions 
about "the military situation," invaded the privacy of every 
tent, stood around every mess-table till invited to eat unless 
driven away, and wandered around at nearly all hours. 

They congregated especially in the vicinity of headquarters, 
standing in rows just outside of the guard- line, staring at 
Gen. Grant and staff, pointing out the different members of the 
latter to each other, and seizing upon every unfortunate darky 
belonging to headquarters who came within their reach, and 
asking all manner of impertinent questions: "Does Gen. Grant 
smoke? Where does he sleep and eat? Does he driik? Are you 
sure he is not a drinking man? Where's his wife? What became 
of his son that was with him at Vicksburg? Which is Gen. Grant? 
What? Not that little man?" And so on by the hour. For 
several days headquarters resembled a menagerie. 3 

General Grant also began to receive many visitors - both official 

and unofficial. Cadwallader describes one of these visitors 

as follows: 


Cadwallader, p. 231. 


On June 21st about one o'clock p.m., a long, gaunt bony looking 
man with a queer admixture of the comical and the doleful in his 
countenance that reminded one of a professional undertaker cracking 
a dry joke, undertook to reach the general's tent by scrambling 
through a hedge and coming in alone. He was stopped by a hostler 
and told to "keep out of here." The man in black replied that he 
through Gen. Grant would allow him inside. The guard finally 
called out: "No sanitary folks allowed inside." After some 
parleying the man was obliged to give his name, and said he was 
Abraham Lincoln, President of the united States, seeking an interview 
with Gen. Grant I The guard saluted, and allowed him to pass. 
Grant recognized him as he stepped under the large "fly" in front 
of his tent, rose and shook hands with him cordially, and then 
introduced him to such members of the staff as were present and 
unacquainted. 4 

The President, accompanied by his son Tad, Assistant Secretary of the 

Navy, Gustavus Vasa Fox, Mr. Chadwick, proprietor of the Willard Hotel, 

as purveyor for the party, and the Marine Band, had just arrived at 

City Point. After dinner, President Lincoln and General Grant rode 

out to inspect the front lines. When the two passed a brigade of 

negro troops they rushed his horse shouting: "Hurrah for the Liberator; 

HurTah for the President." 

Other visitors were unofficial and came on purely personal business. 
Shortly after camp was established a woman arrived with an infant in 
her arms and inquired where to find General Grant. After some delay 
she was directed to Grant's tent where in a downcast, tearful manner 
she waited for Grant. Cadwallader continues: 

4 Tbid. , p. 231 - 232. 

Ibid. , p. 233, 


We soon learned that she was the wife of a federal soldier 
who had deserted to the enemy, been captured armed and in 
rebel uniform, had been court-martialed and sentenced to be 
shot; and was then at the front awaiting execution. She came 
to plead for his life. Gen. Grant spent an hour in trying to 
show her how impossible it was to grant her request. Desertion 
was an unpardonable military offense; but when it was aggravated 
by taking up arms in the enemy's ranks, every civilized country 
in the world inflicted the death penalty. He expressed his 
sympathy for her, and urged her to return to her home and friends, 
and try to forget the man who had shown himself to be so unworthy 
of the affection and love of any good woman - that a man who 
could so far forget his wife, child and country, would never 
prove a good husband and father. She listened stolidly; but said 
over and over again that he had always been a good husband to her. 
She made no apologies for his conduct, but kept on repeating he fi 
had always been a good husband, and begging him to spare his life. 

The woman refused to leave Grant's tent and Grant was unwilling to 

force her out. Finally, after all reasoning had failed ,he telegraphed 

General Meade to see if there were any errors in the court-martial 

proceedings. There were none. The woman still refused to leave 

so Grant telegraphed Lincoln and asked for authority to do as he 

pleased in the matter. Grant had her husband brought to his tent the 

next morning and we learn that: 

Grant gave him a lecture of unusual severity - scored him 
unmercifully - told him he richly deserved a thousand deaths, 
for one such act often led to the deaths of thousands of 
innocent men - told him he could stand by and witness his 
execution without a single emotion of pity for him - but 
concluded it all by telling him that out of sorrow for his 
wife, who had proven herself so true and so good a woman, he 
would give him one chance for his life. He would not pardon 

Ibid., P. 244-250. 


him, nor in any way release him from the verdict pronounced 
against him, except to delay the day of his execution. He 
would order him to be restored to the ranks of the company 
from which he had deserted, subject to further orders in 
the -matter. He told him plainly he would be under daily and 
hourly surveillance, and upon the first dereliction of duty 
in any way, he would order him to be shot within twenty -four 
hours . ' 

After breakfast the husband was returned to the front and the wife 

left Grant's tent and took the ten o'clock mail boat to Washington. 

Grant occupied a tent on the grounds of the Eppes estate for five 
months until cold weather forced him to erect a more comfortable 
cabin. Appomattox Manor was used by General Rufus Ingalls, Chief 
Quartermaster of the Army. 

7 Ibid., p. 251. 


In the following picture we see General Ingalls on the front porch of 
Appomattox Manor. Popular tradition has it that Grant used the 
home for his offices and that Lincoln used the home for offices and 
living quarters. . No evidence to support this fact has been found. 
Best available evidence supports the view that the house was used by 
General Ingalls as his headquarters, and the U.S. Army Telegraph Corps 
occupied another part of the home. The telegraph office was located 
in the dining room, and General Ingalls used the opposite bedroom on 
the first floor CSee floor plan for details) . 



Figure 23. General Rufus Ingalls, Chief Quartermaster of the Army, 

standing on the front porch of Appomattox Manor. 
Source: Rossiter Johnson, Campf ires and Batt lefields. New York, 
Gallant Books, 19607 " 



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Figure 24. General Ingalls and unidentified party on the porch. 

of Appomattox Manor in May 1865. 
Source: Library of Congress # 57340. 



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The East Wing of the home, which was added in 1840, was not used by 
the military due to damage sustained when union cannon balls were 
fired into the roof during the seizure of City Point. One cannon 
ball was removed in 1952 when the roof was repaired. According to 
Mrs. Elise Eppes Cutchins, several bushels of Minie balls were also 
found in the roof and were sold as souvenirs to tourists when Appomattox 
Manor was opened to the public during the Civil War Centennial. 
In the following Brady photographs we can clearly see the damaged 
roof on the East Wing. 


■' <■+ 


Figure 25. Appomattox Manor 1865. East Wing showing damage to roof 

caused by the Union Army during the occupation in 1864. 
Source: National Archives #111-3-5197. 



Figure 26. Appomattox Manor 1865. East Wing showing damage to roof 

caused by the Union Army during the occupation of 1864. 
Source: National Archives # 111 -B- 5212. 


Mrs. Cutchins did say that it was possible that junior officers 
stationed at City Point might have used the East Wing from time 
to time. There is no evidence to either confirm or to deny this. 
She was certain that neither Grant nor Lincoln used the home, although 
we must assume that they both visited the home occasionally to 
send and to receive telegraphs. 

The best description we have of Grant's headquarters for this period 
comes from General Horace Porter in his book , Campaigning with Grant . 
According to Porter: 

A hospital tent was used as his (Grant's) office, while a 
smaller tent connecting in the rear was occupied as his 
sleeping-apartment. A hospital tent -fly was stretched in 
front of the office tent so as to make a shaded space in 
which persons could sit. A rustic bench and a number of 
folding camp-chairs with backs were placed there, and it 
was beneath this tent -fly that most of the important 
official interviews were held. When great secrecy was to 
be observed the parties would retire to the office tent. 
On both sides of the generals ' quarters were pitched close 
together enough officers' tents to accommodate the staff. 
Each tent was occupied by two officers. The mess -tent was 
pitched in the rear, and at a short distance still farther 
back a temporary shelter was prepared for the horses. ° 

Each officer took his turn in acting as "caterer" to the mess. 

According to Porter: 

° Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant (Indiana University Press, 
Bloomington, 1961) p. 212. 


His duties consisted in giving general directions to the steward 
as to ordering the meals, keeping an account of the bills, and 
at the end of his tour dividing up the expenses and collecting 
the amount charged to each officer. General Grant insisted upon 
paying two shares of the expenses instead of one, upon the 
ground that he invited more guests to meals than any one else 
in the mess, although this was not always the case, for each 
officer was allowed to entertain guests, and there were at times 
as many visitors at table as members of the mess. The officer 
acting as caterer sat at the head of the mess -table, with the 
general on his right. " 

General Grant never complained about the food. The only meat he 
enjoyed was beef and he would eat it only if it was thoroughly 
cooked. He never ate any meat which came onto the table if blood 
appeared in it. He couldn't stand the sight of blood and would 
immediately leave the table. 

General Grant enjoyed oysters and fruit but would not touch mutton, 
fowl, or game. He was quoted as saying, "I never could eat anything 
that goes on two legs. lt ^ 

His favorite lunch consisted of sliced cucumbers and coffee. He 
also enjoyed corn, pork, beans and buckwheat cakes . Onee when 
acting as a caterer, Porter sent to Washington for sweatb reads 
for the mess. When Grant saw them he announced, "I hope that 

9 Ibid. 

10 I5id. 

11 Ibid. , p. 214. 


these were not obtained especially for me, for I have a singular 
aversion to them. In my young days I used to eat them, not 
knowing exactly what part of the animal they came from; but as 
soon as I learned what they were my stomach rebelled against 
them, and I have never tasted them since." *2 

The only beverage ever used at the table besides tea and coffee 
was water. Only after a hard day's ride in stormy weather would 
Grant join the other officers at headquarters for a whiskey toddy. 
He never offered liquor of any kind to visitors but would give 
them cigars instead. ^ 

According to another eyewitness, after dinner: 

Most of the time was spent around a huge wood fire 
kept up in the centre of the encampment, immediately in 
front of Grant's own hut. Here a number of rough seats 
were placed, and two or three officers were almost always 
to be found. The weather was cold, but wrapped in the 
overcoat of a private soldier, Grant liked to form one 
of the group around this fire. The telegraph was close at 
hand, and despatches were brought him instantly: to this 
point came messages from Meade, and Butler, and Sherman, 
and Sheridan, and Thomas, and Canby, and Stanton, and 
Hal leek, and the President; and after reading them, the 

12 Ibid . , p. 214, 

13 Ibid , p. 215. 


general -in- chief usually stepped at once into his hut and wrote 
his reply; he then rejoined the circle around the fire, and 
often told the contents of the message he had received, as 
well as of that he sent. On such occasions he rarely consulted 
any one. Sometimes, of course, it was necessary to inform 
himself Before replying; if any inquiry was made about troops, 
or he needed to know something from the quarter master or the 
commissary of subsistence, the proper officer was sent for; 
but when the despatch simply required a decision, Grant made 
the decision, and announced it after the reply was gone. 14 

One favorite occupation at the camp was the study of rebel newspapers 
which often brought the first news Grant had of distant commands. 
These were obtained from the picket line on a regular basis and 
Grant was kept well informed about Confederate news. These newspapers, 
plus returning prisoners of war, brought Grant the only news he had 
concerning events on the other side of the line. 

Grant was an endless story teller and would relive his past experiences 
with, his officers at night. He would talk late into the night and 
seemed never to want to go to bed. Many times he would sit up until 
three or four in the morning, long after everyone else had retired. 
He preferred to stay up late and would often* 'tire out his aides-de-camp 
who eventually took turns sitting up with him in self defense. 

Adam Badeau, Military History of U.S. Grant (T>. Apple ton and 
Company, New York, 1881], vol.. Ill, pp. 136-137. 

15 Ibld - 

16 Ibid - » P- 143. 


After Grant retired for the night, one of his staff would remain on 
duty outside of his tent until morning. 

Grant insisted on living in tents until well into the Fall of 1864. 
While living in a tent he could believe that the Siege of Petersburg 
would end soon and the war would be over. To erect a cabin meant 
that he was setting up a more permanent camp and that the end of 
the war was not close at hand. As the weather began to grow cold 
Grant's staff became uncomfortable in the cold. In November, 1864, 
Grant had to leave City Point for a few days, and in his absence 
the tents came down and cabins were erected. Grant's cabin was a 
spacious building. 

The cabins of General Grant's staff were made of split juniper 
or at least lined with it. The bark was left on many of the logs. 
The floors consisted of split logs and the walls had one or two 
small windows. All of the cabins had fire places. Each hut 


contained space enough for two bunk beds. ' /■■ 

A description of Grant's cabin can be found in the Friday, August 4, 
1865, edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer. 


Statement of Brigadier Timothy E. Wilcox in the files of the 

Petersburg National Battlefield Park. 




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e 27. Architectural elevations and 
floor plan of Grant's Cabin. 

e: Appomattox Manor-City Point 
File, Petersburg National 
Battlefield, Petersburg, Va. 


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3 R A N T ' S ... C A B I N 

The Cabin is of the stockade pattern, the logs being inserted 
perpendicularly in the ground. There are two rooms; the front room, 
which was used as a sitting or reception room, is fourteen feet 
square, and the back room, which constituted the General's sleeping 
apartment, is twenty- five feet by nine feet in extent. The entire 
building is shaped like the letter T. It is built of Virginia pine 
logs, two hundred in number. 

The logs composing the front of the building are nicely squared and 
planed, and the remainder are in the rough. The back room is lined 
with boards, but the walls of the front or sitting room is composed 
of logs only. The logs are all chinked with plaster, this plaster 
and the mortar used constituting the- only new substance used in the 
reerection of the building. The cabin originally cost $2800, and 
it took about four days to construct it, employing about forty men, 
a number of whom were negroes, paid seventy dollars per month and 
found sic in provisions. 

The cabin was erected in November, 1864, and was constantly occupied 
by General Grant until the end of the war. 

The sitting room has two windows and one door, the door being out in 
the principal front; the bed-room has a like number, the door 
being at the rear of the building. A partition is erected between 
the two rooms, with, sliding doors, which partition is divided by the 
fireplace and chimney, which are built of brick. 

The front room is warmed by a wood fire, the andirons used to build 
said fire being constructed of old muskets by a soldier, and 
presented to General Grant. The fender is made of sheet iron, and 
is punctured with the letters "U.S.G.", with a star on either side 
of the initials. 

The cabin has a slanting shingle roof. This roof was sawed into 
six sections, for the purpose of transporting' it to this city. The 
cabin is covered with, a flooring of planed" pine boards and the ceiling 
is composed of canvas tacked to the rafters. 

At City Point the cabin faced due north, and from its door a 
picturesque view of the James and Appomattox rivers could be obtained. 
Tt was situated on a high bluff, surrounded with trees, and directly 
in front of it towered a high flag-staff, from which, always floated 
an immense American flag. There were in all twenty- two log cabins 
erected in the immediate vicinity of head- quarters , three of which 
were counterparts of the one occupied by the commanding general, 


and occupied by his chief of staff and staff officers of different 
grades. The cabin will contain the furniture used by General 
Grant as near as it can be obtained. This furniture has, however, 
become somewhat scattered, some of the articles being carried off 
at City Point hy relic hunters, but the main portion of it is in the 
possession of the general. 


An iron camp bed, an iron wasfstand, a couple of pine tables, 
and a few common wooden chairs made up the furniture. 

Many of the northern papers commented on the establishment of a more 
permanent camp at City Point. One paper declared that the establishment 

of Winter quarters was proof that the oldest inhabitant would not 

likely live long enough to see Grant take Richmond. 

Grant and his staff used humor to cope with this situation. General Rufus 
Ingalls returned on a trip to Washington with an English-spotted 
coach, dog that followed him everywhere. One night as Ingalls and 
Grant sat together around the fire Grant asked: "Well, Ingalls, 
What are your real intentions in regard to that dog? Do you expect 
to take it into ■ Richmond with you?" Ingalls replied to this: "I 
hope so it is said to come from a long lived breed." This exchange 
brought a round of laughter from everyone. ™ 

Below we have two pictures of Grant's cabin at City Point. 

18 Porter, pp. 329-330 , 

19 Ibid. 

20 Ibid., p. 331, 


1 ,v 


e 28. Military cabins 
ed on the front lawn of 
attox Manor during the 
r of 1864-1865. View 
e: War Library and 
m of the Military 
of the Loyal Legion 
e United States, 
delphia, Pa. 


Figure 29 

Military cabing located on the front lawn 
of Appomattox Manor during the Winter of 
1864-1865 . View from Northwest . 

Source: Petersburg National Battlefield , 

Petersburg , Virginia , File §11, Historical 
Buildings . 


Identification of Grant's cabin is easy because after the war 
Grant gave it to George H. Stuart, President of the Sanitary 
Commission, who erected it in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, where 
it is today. Modern pictures permit easy identification as seen 


Figure 30. The following six: photographs are modern pictures of 

Grant's cabin taken in November 1977, at Fairmount Park 
in Philadelphia. 

Source: Appomattox Manor-City Point File, Petersburg National 
Battlefield, Petersburg, Virginia. 





Since Mr. Stuart was interested in knowing the full history of 
events that occurred in the cab in, our knowledge of its history- 
is excellent. In July, 1865, Adam Badeau, who was on Grant's 
staff sent him the following letter describing the history of the 


Headquarters Armies of the United States 
Washington D.C. July 21, 1865 

Geo. H. Stuart, Esq. 

My Dear Sir 

Lieut. Gen. Grant directs me to ac- 
knowledge the receipt of your communication of the 20th 
inst., and to state that he is perfectly willing for the cabin 
in which, he lived at City Point to be placed wherever 
you or the citizens of Philadelphia may prefer. 

He also directs me to state, in reply to your 
request for a history of the cabin, and especially to your 
reference to a supposed council of war between President 
Lincoln, Gen. Sherman and himself, that he held no 
council of war at City Point or any other place at any time; that 
the interviews between Mr. Lincoln, Gen. Sherman and 
himself to which you allude, were rather insignificant 
than "momentous", and that the only conversation of any 
importance which did occur between them took place on 
a steamboat; it consisted of Gen. Grant's announcement 
that he intended to move out against Gen. Lee at a 
certain time, with his directions to Gen. Sherman to 
cooperate in North Carolina. 

The cabin, however, you will permit me to say, 
has an interest beyond that to which in Gen. Grant's 
eyes it seems entitled. It was built in November 1864, 
so that the last four months of the Rebellion, im- 
mediately prior to the great movements which resulted 
in its overthrow, were passed by him within its walls. 
Here he received the reports of his great subordinates 
almost daily, and sent them their orders and their 
rewards. Here he watched Sherman ^s route as he 
came across the continent to the sea, and afterwards 
along his memorable march through the Carol inas; from 
here he dispatched his instructions to Thomas, which 
resulted in the battle of Nashville and the discomfiture 
of Hood, so that a concentration of any great force in 
front of Sherman was impossible. From here he directed 
Terry in the operations which culminated in the fall\ 
of Fort Fisher. From here he directed Sherman and 
Schofield, bringing one Northward through the Carolinas 
and the other Eastward in dead winter across the North, 
and then sending him by sea to meet his great captain 
at Goldsboro, the cooperation being so complete that the 
two armies arrived one from Nashville and the other 
from Savannah, on the same day. Here he received 
the rebel commissioners on their way to meet President 
Lincoln; here he ordered Sheridan's glorious move- 
ments, whose importance in producing the last great 
result can hardly be overestimated; from here he 
directed CanBy in the campaign whose conclusion was 
the fall of Mobile; from here he despatched Wilson 


and Stoneman on their final raids. Here he received 
the President, Gen. Sherman, Gen. Sheridan, Gen. 
Meade and Admiral Porter in an interview 
interesting beyond comparison in the meeting at one time 
and place of so many men of such importance by their 
talents and their positions and here the lamented 
Lincoln passed many of the latest hours of his life 
before its crowning success had been achieved. Here the 
last orders for all these generals were penned before 
the commencement of the great campaign which ter- 
minated the war. These are reminiscences which I 
have ventured to recall, conscious that they must always 
be of transcedent interest to the patriot and the historical 
student, although to the appreciation of the Lieut. Gen'l they seem, as he 
directs me to style them - insignificant. 

I am, by dear Sir 

with great respect 

Your Obedient servent. 


Brev't. Col. § Mil. Sec. Z1 


Located on the files of the Fairmount Park Commission, 

Memorial Hall, Philadelphia 


On February 12, 1889, Badeau sent another letter to Russel Thayer, 
Chief Engineer and Superintendent of the Fairmount Park Commission 
concerning the cabin. 


Washington, D.C. February 12th, 1889. 

Russell Thayer, Esq., 

Chief Engineer and Superintendent Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. 

Dear Sir: 

I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of February 2nd, 
asking for the history of General Grant's Log Cabin now in Fairmount Park. 

This building was put up in November, 1864, and was occupied 
by General Grant during the last four or five months of the Rebellion. 
It stood on the bluff overlooking the James River, where the headquarters 
of our armies were established from June, 1864 to March, 1865. During 
the summer and early autumn, Grant had slept in a tent, but as the 
weather grew colder and it became almost certain that we must pass 
the winter at City Point, cabins were built for him and his staff. 

The hut of the General-in-Chief was larger than those of his 
officers and contained two rooms, while theirs had but one, for Mrs. Grant 
spent a portion of the winter with him, but in every other respect it 
was as plain and simple as that of any Captain on his staff. The 
cabins, about a dozen in number, formed three sides of the little 
encampment, and the General Grant's was at the centre of one of 
these lines, facing the river. In front was a flag staff with the 
Headquarter ' s Flag, and the camp fire around which at night the officers 
gathered. Grant was always among them, and remained until the small 
hours, smoking, talking, joking, and now and then receiving a dispatch. 
If news of importance came from the front at Petersburg, or nearer 
Richmond, or from Sherman, Sheridan, Thomas, or other distant generals, 
he often read it aloud, and then entered this cabin and wrote his 
answer; sometimes the door remained open, and the candle flickered 
in its iron frame. I can see him now in his light blue soldier's 
overcoat and his broad-brimmed hat, cigar in mouth, leaning over 
the table and writing an order to one of his/ 'great generals. Then 
he rejoined the circle around the fire and" perhaps told what 
directions he had issued. These orders were usually telegraphed, 
and the operator's tent close at hand to facilitate the dispatch of 
messages. , 

During the mornings of that last winter of the war Grant 
also wrote more elaborate letter to Lincoln, Stanton, or to Halleck, 
or his other important subordinates. One or two maps always lay on 
his table, and as he got news from Sherman on his great marches, or 
a report from Sheridan after a victory in the Valley, he often 
entered to look for the exact spot where the manoeuvres or the 
battle had occurred. Spies and scouts were sometimes examined 


secretly in the inner room; officers brought hither verbal reports 
from distant fields, and late in the night on his simple cot he 
doubtless revolved the instructions and the plans which led through 
so much anxiety and effort to the final triumph of the Union. 

He never went to his camp bed till long past midnight, and 
if any staff officer would sit up with him after the camp fire had 
burned low and the others had turned in, they went into this cabin 
together, and Grant was more genial and more communicative then than 
at any other time. His great spirit may hover still around the rough 
walls that once sheltered his bodily frame and recall the discussions 
of the past, the verdict upon other generals, the details of his 
battles and campaigns which he would then disclose to those in his 
nearest confidence. Secrets of war and intimate personal revelations 
hand around these unhewn walls enough to fill a volume if the rough 
logs could tell the history they have seen and heard. 

In this cabin Grant wrote his orders to Sherman for the 
march, through the Carolinas ; from here he summoned Sheridan to the 
Army of the Potomac for the final struggle; from his hut he 
removed Butler after the failure at Fort Fisher; seated within 
these walls he sent the dispatches to Thomas, which have provoked 
so much, discussion, and the orders to Schof ield that transferred him 
across the Continent. Here he received the Rebel Commissioners who 
came out from Richmond in March, 1865, to treat for peace; and here 
he often sat and talked with Lincoln of the great issues at stake, 
the military measures and the means . Stanton too , and Seward have 
sat under this roof, and on one memorable day, after Sherman had 
arrived at the sea, Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, Sheridan, Meade, and 
Admiral Porter were all crowded into his little hut, which then 
contained as much of America's greatness as has ever stood at once 
within the same four walls. 

Finally in the cabin Grant wrote the orders for the concluding 
operations of the War; here he explained the /'situation to Lincoln on 
the day before the Armies moved, and from this homely shelter, on the 
29th. of March, 1865 , he started on that campaign which ended at 
Appomattox with the surrender of Lee and secured the salvation 
of the American Union. 

I am Sir, 

your obedient servent, 


22 IBid. 


One of the regiments assigned to defend City Point was the 114th 
Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. The regiment was chiefly 
engaged in escorting rebel prisoners to Washington and its band also 
provided appropriate music for military executions. These activities 
were not sufficient to keep the regiment occupied and, as a result, 
the band would practice its music all day and then march over to 
Grant's cabin at night to serenade him. ° 

They did this in the belief that Grant appreciated music. Grant did not 
appreciate the music or any music for that matter. After patiently 
suffering for a few days ,he finally lost his temper and Porter relates 
what happened. 

The garrison commander was in blissful ignorance of the fact 
that to the general the appreciation of music was a lacking 
sense and the musician's score a sealed book. About the 
third evening after the band had begun its performances, 
the general, while sitting at the mess-table remarked: "I've 
noticed that that band always begins its noise just about 
the time I am sitting down to dinner and want to talk." 
I offered to go and make an effort to suppress it, and see 
whether would obey an order to "cease firing," and my services 
were promptly accepted. The men were "gorgeously uniformed, 
and the band seemed to embrace every sort of brass instrument 
ever invented, from a diminutive cornet-a-pistons to a gigantic 
double-bass horn. The performer who played the latter 
instrument was engaged within its ample twists, and looked 
like a man standing inside the coils of a whiskey-still. 

The broad-B'elted band-master was puffing with, all the vigor 
of a quack-medicine advertisement, his eyes were riveted 

23 Frank Rauscher, Music on the March, 1862-1865, 114th Regiment of 
Pennsylvania Volunteers . Qfin. F. Fell $ Co., Philadelphia, 1892), p. 217. 

1 A -> 

upon the music, and it was not an easy task to attract his 
attention. Like a sperm-whale, he had come up to blow, 
and was not going to be put down till he had finished; but 
finally he was made to understand that, like the hand-organ 
man, he was desired to more on. With a look of disinheritance 
on his countenance, he at last marched off his band to its 
camp. On my return the general said: "I fear that band-master's 
feelings have been hurt, but I did not want him to be wasting 
his time upon a person who has no ear for music." A staff- . 
office remarked: "Well, general, you were at least much 

more considerate than Commodore , who, the day he 

came to take command of his vessel, and was seated at dinner 
in the cabin, heard music on deck, and immediately sent for 
the executive officer and said to him: 'Have the instruments 
and men of that band thrown overboard at once I ' " 24 

General Grant established a good working relationship with his 
staff at City Point. The atmosphere of the camp was informal yet 
Grant maintained the dignity of his position. However close 
his staff were to him in their relations, there was never any 


obtrusive intimacy. ° Grant always addressed his Chief of Staff 
as "Rawlins," General Sherman as "Sherman" and General Sheridan as 
"Sheridan." However, in addressing Meade and all other commanders he 
used the title "General" Sherman always called the 'Commander-in-Chief 
"Grant" Ingalls and other West Point classmates used this same 
form of address when alone with Grant. When others were present 
they called him "General." When talking to a personal aide he 

24 Porter, p. 234-235, 

25 Ibid. , p. 331. 


knew well Grant would use their last names. He was considerate to 
his staff and showed a genuine politeness to all who came to visit, 
invariably inviting his visitor to be seated before offering the 
inevitable cigar. He never criticized a person who had just left, 
and would never listen to any camp gossip. He had an aversion to 
people who whispered information in his ear and would invite that 
person to the rear room of his cabin if a confidential interview 
was needed. Grant was especially courteous to women and treated 
all who came to see him with great respect. 

While Grant was courteous to the officers and men of his staff and 
to the men serving in the Army of the Potomac, the common soldier 
could be abrupt as Porter relates: 

There was an officer serving in the Army of the Potomac 
who Sad formerly been a surgeon. One day he appeared 
at Meade 's headquarters in a high state of in- 
diguation, and said: "General, as I was riding over here 
some of the men in the adjoining camps shouted after me and 
called me 'Old Pills,' and I would like to have it stopped." 
Meade just at that moment was not in the best possible 
frame of mind to be approached with such- a complaint. He 
seized hold of the eye-glasses, conspicuously large in size, 
which he always wore , clapped them astride of his nose with both 
hands, glared through them at the officer, and exclaimed: 
"Well, what of that? How can I prevent it? Why, I hear that, 
when I; rode out the other day, some of the men called me 

a 'd d old goggle-eyed snapping-turtle, ' and I can't even stop 

that!" The officer had to content himself with, this 

26 Ibid., p. 323-333. 


explosive expression of sympathetic fellow-feeling, and to take 
his chances thereafter as to obnoxious epithets. "' 

Grant never wasted his time on details that could be handled by 
others. He never reviewed court-martial reports or spent time on 
a project that was not of some importance. He would find a man he 
could trust and then detail responsibility to that man. Grant 
concentrated his efforts on doing his job and would not let himself 
Be diverted. He would consider a problem as long as he deemed 
necessary and than make his decision. Unlike other generals, Grant 
never held a council of war. He just didn't believe in them, as 
Porter points out: 

It was suggested, one evening, that he instruct Sherman to 
hold a council of war on the subject of the next movement 
of his army. To this General Grant replied: "No; I will 
not direct any one to do what I would not do myself under 
similar circumstances. I never held what might be called 
formal councils of war, and I do not believe in them. They 
create a divided responsibility, and at times prevent that 
unity of action so necessary in the field. Some officers 
will in all likelihood oppose any plan that may be adopted; 
and when it is put into execution, such officers may, by 
their arguments in opposition, have so far convinced 
themselves that the movement will fait that they cannot 
enter upon it with enthusiasm, and might possibly be in- 
fluenced in their actions by the feeling that a victory 
would be a reflection upon their judgment. I believe it 
is better for a commander charged with the responsibility 
of all the operations of his army to consult his generals 
freely but informally, get their views and opinions, and 


mid., 247-248, 


then make up his mind what action to take, and act accordingly. 
There is too much truth in the old adage, 'Councils of war do 
not fight. f " 28 

As the months passed by City Point grew into a huge supply depot 
for the Union Army. On any given day an eyewitness could count more 
that forty steamboats, seventy-five sailing ships and one hundred 
barges in the river. 29 

Morris Schaff , a young ordnance officer fresh out of West Point, said 
City Point reminded him of thecontinuous range of levees at New 

Orleans, with its network of railroad tracks running to the jetties 

out in the stream. 

In the painting below by Edward Lamson Henry in the Addison Gallery 
of American Art we can see an example of the frenzied activity at 
City Point during the Siege of Petersburg. 

28 Ibid. , p. 316 

29 Edward Boykin, Beefsteak Raid (Funk § Wagnalls Company, New York. 
1960], p. 116. 

30 Ibid. 

























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One of the biggest attention getters at City Point was the 
hospital which was large enough for over 6,000 men. It was located 
between points 12 and 13 and F and H on the map. 

In the two following photos we have several different view of the 
hospital at City Point. 


Figure 32. U.S. Army Hospital at City Point Virginia in 1865, 
Source: Nfollus Collection * 1417. 


> 'iV'S' 

; * WEES* 


? 1 1 


I1 1:^1. ' 

Figure 33. U.S. Army Hospital at City Point in 1864. 
Source: Mollus Collection # 1929 


The hospital was organized very soon after the arrival of Grant 
at City Point in June 1864, to handle the mass casualties of the 
campaign. It handled as many as 10,000 patients during the summer 
of 1864, and the following winter could provide for 6,000 men in 
warm winter quarters. Twelve hundred hospital tents lined its 
streets, while other conveniences included running water and a stream 
laundry. 31 

Cornelia Hancock, a nurse stationed at the hospital at City Point, 
drew the following map of the hospital ground. 

James River \ Maine [H Indiana | Ohio fj Venna. f~l 




Broad Street 



. □ 

D a 

•§ a 


.1 D 





/ Divh 

Cornelia j_J 



e D 









s n 



s □ 

31 Cornelia Hancock, South After Gettysburg (Books for Libraries 
Press, Freeportl, p. 120. 


The hospital covered some two hundred acres of land near Grant's 
headquarters. The hospital had easy access to water transportation 
which carried casualties to Washington and points north. Every 
effort was made to treat the sick and wounded soldiers at City 
Point. Through bitter experience, the army learned that once a 
man was sent north for treatment he was usually lost to the army.. 
By treating the sick and the wounded at City Point, more men could 
be returned to the ranks. 

The medical department had its own wharves and transports but could 
call on the quartermaster department for additional ships. In the 
picture below we can see the medical supply steamer "Planter" 
unloading supplies near City Point in September 1864. 




Drugs and supplies as well as ice and delicacies were plentiful. 
Every patient had a bed with clean sheets and pillows. Shortly 
after the tents were erected, the quartermaster installed two four 
horsepower steam engines at the edge of the river to draw water 
into a 6,000 gallon tank supported on a trestle 30 feet high. Pipes 
were laid throughout the area and river water was supplied for laundry, 
bathing and other purposes. Wells and natural springs supplied 
drinking water. 32 

When City Point had no rain for several weeks during the summer, 
dust and heat became a serious health problem. Hospital authorities 
requested sprinkling carts from Washington to water down the streets. 
This soon provided the necessary relief. 33 

Hospital latrines were primitive and consisted of mainly open 
ditches. Even after these ditches were treated with sulfate of 
iron, flies and mosquitoes were common. The tents and grounds were 
kept clean and regular inspections were made to see to this. As 
the siege continued month after month the ration of sick to wounded 
began to increase. "34 

32 M:Pherson, p. 244- 

33 Tbid. 

3 ^ See Appendix VI for a comparison of common Civil War diseases to 
diseases of World War I. 


Convalescent patients were put to work around the hospital. In 
addition to this help the medical staff had a detail of cavalry and 
contingents of civilians working for the semi-official Sanitary 
and Christian Commissions and commissions from many of the states, 
which supplied food, clothing and nursing care. One hundred and 
sixty adult negroes were also employed as cooks and laundresses. 
They washed some 6,000 pieces of laundry each week. 35 

As winter approached the tents were replaced with 90 log barracks 
with board roofs, measuring 50 ft. by 20 ft. The walls were made 
cheerful by covering them with brightly colored paper. Four hundred 
and fifty-two tents were also used. '6 

Everything was done to make the sick and wounded at City Point as 
comfortable as possible. At the time Lee's army was starving in the 
trenches the Union army had an abundance of supplies. In a letter 
dated December 29, 1864, Cornelia Hancock, an army nurse, described 
the Christmas dinner for the men at the hospital. 

35 Ibid. 

36 Ibid. 


City Point, Dec. 29th, 1864 

My Dear Sister 

Christmas is over. We had it to perfection here, a splendid 
dinner for 1400 men; just to think of it, cooking a sumptuous 
dinner of turkeys, pies, etc. for that number. It is not 
appalling? Miss Hart had charge of the dinner and, of 
course, it was a success. She is so smart. T had moved 
into my new kitchen and gave her full sway there. It 
was handy to where the dinner was set in the government 
kitchen where 400 can be seated at once. The hall was 
decorated tastefully with evergreens and was really pretty 
as a picture. It was photographed, I believe. 37 

The U.S. Sanitary Commission had offices located at City Point. 
The Sanitary Commission had been established on June 9, 1861 to 
look after the health and welfare of the volunteer army ,and also to 
act as a means of communication between the government and the 
people. The Sanitary Commission followed the army and set up 
its offices to help the soldiers. Many northern cities contributed 
money to the Commission and by the time the Commission arrived at 
City Point on June 18, 1864 , it was a large and well run organization. 
Workers of the Sanitary Commission spent their first days setting 
up a restaurant for soldiers and putting three large barges in the 
river to act as aid stations. Moored permanently side by side in 
the river, the barges were full of things needed by the soldiers. 
Food and lodgings were offered to any needy soldier, white or black.. '^ 

3' Hancock, p. 163. 


William Quentin Maxwell, Lincoln's Fifth Wheel (Longmans, Green 
§ Co. New York, 1956), p. 256. 


By 1865 the U.S. Sanitary Commission at City Point employed two 
hundred workers and teamsters. A steam tug moved up and down 
the river carrying supplies to various relief stations scattered 
along the 30 mile front. Each army corps had its own Sanitary 
Station and two four horse wagons to accompany the army on the 
move. Agents of the commission cared for soldiers at the City 
Point Hospital and the various regimental hospitals. The commission 
even sent letters home for soldiers at the front and informed 
relatives of deaths in battle. 

By the end of June 1865> the Sanitary Commission had purchased 103 
tons of canned tomatoes, 1,200 barrels of pickled cucumbers, 18,000 
gallons of onions and tomatoes and 17,000 gallons of sauerkraut. 
The commission also purchased 1,500 barrels of potatoes to give 
to the soldiers. Woolen socks, shirts, drawers and tobacco were 

supplied endlessly. Both officers and men of the army praised the 

work of the commission. 


The Sanitary Commission proved to be an invaluable ally of the soldiers 
at City Point. Much of the bitterness and horror of war at 
Petersburg was dissipated by the prompt work of this commission. 

39 ibid. 


City Point was a bustle of military activity during the summer of 
1864. Supplies of every shape and description were tunneled through 
the docks and onto the trains heading for the front. Quartermaster 
General Meigs boasted that City Point could victual and supply half 
a million fighting men if necessary.40 Episcopal Bishop Henry C. Lay 
of Arkansas who visited City Point on a pass provided by General 
Sherman , described the scene as, "not merely profusion, but extravagance, 
wagons, tents, artillery, ad libitum . Soldiers provided with 
everything, comforts of all sorts." *± 

To funnel this food and material to the soldiers Grant built a 
military railroad and hooked it onto the existing Petersburg-City 
Point Line. Horace Porter observed the railroad and remarked, "Its 

undulations were so marked that a train moving along it looked in 

the distance like a fly crawling on a corrugated washboard." 

The railroad was small by today's standards but it did its job 

well and the Union army nevered suffered from want of supplies. 

As City Point grew into a large city, union "officials began to worry 
about the defense of the depot. Confederate lines were not too 
distant and the threat of a quick cavalry raid was ever present. 
To meet this threat , Grant ' s engineers ran a fortified defense line 

40 Boykin, p. 116 . 

41 Ibid., p. 117 . 

42 Ibid,, p. 118 . 159 

behind City Point. They lined this defense perin^ter with eight forts. 
In the map below we can see this defense line as well as the siege 
lines at Petersburg. 

3 3 5. Plan of Operations 

i Petersburg and Richmond 


2: William Swinton 

igns of the Army of the 

ac New York, Charles 

ler's Sons, 1882. 


Richmond .<•• Petersburg 

Bt.Col.VT.H. P*ui<e 'rEJTf inter. 

Names of Union Forts Around Petersburg. (See Map.) 


Fort McGilvery. 


Fort Howard. 


Fort Steadman. 


Fort Wadsworth. 


Fort Hascall. 


Fort Dushane. 


Fort Morton. 


Fort Davison. 


Fort Meikle. 


Fort McMahon. 


Fort Rice. 


Fort Stevenson. 


Fort Sedgwick, or Fort Hell 


Fort Blaisdel. 


Fort Davis. 


Fort Patrick Kelley 


Fort Prescott. 


Fort Bross. 


Fort Alexander Hayes. 

Forts on the Prolongation of the Lines West of the Weldon 


Fort Keene. 


Fort Urmston. 


Fort Conahey. 


Fort Fisher. 


Fort Welch. 


Fort Gregg. 


Fort Wheaton. 


Fort Sampson. 


Fort Cummings 


Fort Emory. 


Fort Siebert. 


Fort Clarke. 

Forts Protecting City Point. 

0. Fort Abbott. 

P. Fort Craig. 

Q. Fort Graves. 

R. Fort McKeen. 

S. Fort Lewis 0. Morris 

T. Fort Merriam. 

U. Fort Gould. 

V. Fort Porter. 

Names of Certain Rebel Forts Around Petersburg. 

a. Colquit's Salient. 

b. Pegram's Battery, the fort blown 

up at the mine explosion 

c. Reeves' Salient. 


Fort Mahone. 


Fort New Orleans 


Fort Lee. 


X. Fort Harrison (en Chapin's Farm, north of James River.) ° 

43 Hyland C. Kirk, A History of the New York Heavy Artillery (C-T. 
Dillingham, New York) , pp. 364-366. 


Behind this line of forts the engineers ran a fortified line manned 
by many well-gunned redoubts. On the map of City Point this line runs 
from point 5A to point 8K. The following pictures show some of the 
details of this line. 


Figure 3 6. Defense lines around City Point. 
Source: Mollus Collection #771 




a/Ail ■* !••-*».!■ -i'; J 

Figure 3 7. Defense lines around City Point 
Source: Mollus Collection # 1337 


Construction details on the defense lines are lacking but we do know 
that companies A,B,C,D, and E of the Eighteenth New Hampshire 
Volunteers under the command of Captain Potter was kept at work 
erecting fortifications from October 4, 1864 until some time in 
December. 44 The forts were about two miles in front of City Point. 
These fortifications comprised three and two -thirds miles of works 
and extended from the Appomattox on the North to Bailey's Creek on 
the South. 

The inner line of defense was much closer to Grant's headquarters and 
consisted of sharpened branches piled high in a row behind which a 
deep ditch was constructed and sharpened spikes were implanted. The 
Eighteenth New Hampshire labored on construction projects at City 
Point throughout the winter of 1864-1865, and left us a good description 
of life in their command at City Point during these months. 

For winter life at City Point, in its camp on a high and 
dry plateau about two miles west of the James and half a 
mile south of the Appomattox, the battalion built log 
huts of the pine which was abundant in the vicinity. The 
skill in wood-craft, which was common" among the men of the 
Eighteenth, here came into good use, and there was warm 
rivalry between the companies. The pine forests close at 
hand were drawn upon for the materials for the walls. The 
soil furnished the clay and the brigade quartermaster, axes, 

44 Thomas L. Livermore History of the Eighteenth New Hampshire 
Volunteers 1864-1865 (Tort Hill Press, Boston, 1904), p. 36. 

shovels, picks, and wheelbarrows. Logs of the straight -grained 
native pine, ten to twelve feet long, were cut longitudinally in 
half; smoothed with the axe on the split side, the halves 
were set up on end in trenches two feet deep, with the bark, or a 
roughly hewn surface, on the exterior. Projecting several 
them out of the ground the walls thus made gave sufficient 
head room . The joints were thoroughly plastered with clay. 
The pieces of canvas, six feet square, one of which served 
each man as his portion of a "shelter tent," were laid over 
a ridge pole for a roof. Doors were made of boards split 
from the timber and hewn with the axe. Fitting an aperture 
at one end or side of the wall a fireplace was laid up of 
bricks when they were found, or of stones thickly coated with 
clay, topped with a chimney of sticks "cob -house fashion," 
coated with clay on the inner surface, and generally prolonged 
with an empty \ and headless beef or pork barrel. Each hug - 
eight feet by twelve, or twelve feet by sixteen - was for 
four or more men. The ambitious band house was sixteen feet 
by twenty- four. The officers' huts were rather larger than 
the men's, and each served for three or less. Bunks were 
built which raised the beds above the ground a foot or two, 
and sometimes a bunk above made the "double-decker." Tables, 
chairs and cupboards were also made, and sometimes neither 
bunk, bed, nor furniture contained a nail, for wooden pins 
in holes bored by the solitary "bitstock" in the command, 
made all fast. Doors were often hung on improvised wooden 
hinges. Wood was cut and drawn to camp and prepared for use 
according to the custom of New Hampshire yeomen at home 
in preparation for a New England winter. At Christmas 
time the houses were handsomely hung outside with evergreen. 
Although these quarters were narrow they were ■comfortable, 
and life in them during waking hours was made sociable and 
agreeable with tales, songs, and merriment. The company 
cooks, who had served their apprenticeship with the lumber- 
men of the Connecticut and Merrimac and' 'the New Hampshire 
lakes , were at home in cooking for the men who labored 
on the earthworks for the defense of City Point. 

45 Ibid. , pp. 38-40. 


Below we can see a picture of the camp of the Eighteenth New 
Hampshire Volunteers. 



■■ -:?v*«? 

55*7 W 

••'"f^ -.' ■ * 

■ ■ ,"*Tt* y a ytiry-y ■ 

Figure 38 . Camp of the Eighteenth New Hampshire Volunteers at City 

Point, Va. 
Source: Thomas L. Livermore History of the Eighteenth New Hampshire 
Volunteers 1864-1865, Boston, Fort Hill Press, 1904, p. 39. 

By December 1864 the defense and engineering work was completed 

and the regiment went into the trenches at Petersburg. 



Ibid . , p. 41. 


There were at least three separate attempts to breach the security of 
City Point. The first occurred in the afternoon of August 9, 1864 
and endangered the life of U.S. Grant. According to Porter, Grant 
had returned to City Point and was setting in front of his tent 
surrounded by several staff officers: 

General Sharpe, the assistant provost-marshal -general, 
had been telling him that he had a conviction that there were 
spies in the camp at City Point, and had proposed a plan for 
detecting and capturing them. He had just left the general 
when, at twenty minutes to twelve, a terrific explosion shook 
the earth, accompanied by a sound which vividly recalled 
the Petersburg mine, still fresh in the memory of every one 
present. Then there rained down upon the party a terrific 
shower of shells, bullets, boards, and fragments of timber. 
The general was surrounded by splinters and various kinds 
of ammunition, but fortunately was not touched by any of 
the missiles. Babcock of the staff was slightly wounded in 
the right hand by a bullet, one mounted orderly and several 
horses were instantly killed, and three orderlies were 
wounded. In a moment all was consternation. On rushing to 
the edge of the bluff, we found that the cause of the explosion 
was the Blowing up of a boat loaded with ordnance stores 
which lay at the wharf at the foot of the hill. Much damage 
was done to the wharf, the boat was entirely destroyed, all 
the laborers employed on it were killed, and a number 
of men and horses near the landing were fatally injured. 
The total casualties were forty- three killed and forty 
wounded. The general was the only one p£ the party who 
remained unmoved; he did not even leave his seat to run 
to the bluff with the others to see what had happened. Five 
minutes afterward he went to his writing table and sent a 
telegram to Washington, notifying Halleck of the occurrence. 
No one could surmise the cause of the explosion, and the 
general appointed the president of a board of officers to 
investigate the matter. We spent several days in taking the 
testimony of all the people who were in sight of the occurrence, 
and used every possible means to probe the matter; but as all 
the men aboard the boat had been killed, we could obtain no 
satisfactory evidence. It was attributed by most of those 
present to the careless handling of the ammunition by the 


laborers who were engaged in unloading it; but there was a 
suspicion in the minds of many of us that it was the work of 
some emissaries of the enemy sent into the lines. • 

rt was only seven years later that Grant learned the explosion 

was no accident but the result of a bomb planted on the ordnance 

stores by a confederate agent. 48 

After this accident members of Grant's staff began to think how 
easily Grant might be assassinated. To prevent this, one officer 
always stayed on watch outside of Grant's tent after he retired for 
the night. This was a personal obligation and was arranged by the 
officers at Grant's headquarters without his knowledge at the time. 49 

In the photograph below taken after the explosion, the debris and 
damage caused by the blast is still visible. 

A second attempt was made on the defense at City Point on September 16, 
1864, when Confederate scouts reported a large number of cattle in a 
camp at Coggin's Point, Virginia, which was located ten miles from 
Grant's Headquarters at City Point. The Confederates started for the 

47 Porter, pp. 273-274 . 

48 Ibid. , p. 274 . 

49 Ibid. 



cattle on September 17, 1864 after pushing aside the union guards 
rounded up 2,500 cattle, which were promptly delivered to Lee's 
hungry men. Materially, the loss to the Union Army was insignificant 
as was the gain for Lee's troops. Tactically, the raid showed the 
need to strengthen the defenses at City Point. An ever present 
threat from a Confederate cavalry dash was always possible. It 
was shortly after this event that the Eighteenth New Hampshire began 
its work on strengthing the fortifications around City Point. The 
most serious attempt on the defenses at City Point by the 
Confederates was made on January 25, 186 5, when several Confederate 
warships made a dash down the river to Grant's headquarters. An 
observer described the event as follows : 

The first desperate attempt to relieve himself was made by 
Lee on the 24th of January, when three iron-clads and three 
wooden vessels, with a flotilla of torpedo-boats, came down 
the James river, intending to run the batteries, take City 
Point, and thus cut off the base of supplies for the whole 
army, and divide the forces north and south of the James. 
A large rebel force was massed north of the river to make 
an overwhelming assault on the army there, as soon as City 
Point was reached. A high tower, erected at the latter place 
for observation by Grant, was to be set on fire as a signal 
of success, and at the same time, of attack. The vessels 
came boldly down in the darkness, and it was soon evident 
that we had nothing on shore of in the river that could stop 
their progress., and consternation seized our army along 
the banks. Most of our gun boats were away with Porter, 
and the Onondaga, on guard, retreated down the river without 


attempting a defense. By good fortune, or rather through an 
over-ruling Providence, the iron-calds ran aground, and were 
stopped midway in their triumphant career. 50 

Grant and the Ihion Army had a narrow escape. Had City Point been 
occupied by Lee, if only for a short time, Union supplies would 
have disappeared. 

Additional fortifications were constructed throughout the winter. 
Lining the south bank of the James were batteries emplaced to 
enfilade three peninsulas that became extensions of the City Point 
base-Jordan's, Indian and Coggin's Point. Lookout towers sprouted 
along the shore ,manned around the clock by army signalman. " 

In the end, the defenses of City Point held and no serious disruption 
occurred as a result of Confederate interference. City Point 
functioned efficiently and did the job assigned to it. The Union 
Army was supplied, and Grant lived there for ten months in peace 
and security. 

50 J.T. Headly, Grant and Sherman Their Campaigns and Generals 
(E.B. Treat $ Co., New York, 18661, p. 118. 

51 Boykin, p. 119 . 


Chapter IV 
Logistics and Communications at City Point 

The Civil War was the first large scale conflict involving 
an industrial nation in the nineteenth century. Because 
of this, it revealed, for the first time, many trends in 
modern warfare that would become readily apparent in the 
twentieth century. These trends are most easily observed 
in the area of logistics and communications. 

The Industrial Revolution came to America almost forty 
years before the start of the American Civil War. As the 
years of the nineteenth century passed, America began to 
change from a rural agrarian society of small farmers to 
a commercial and industrial society. This change occurred 
throughout the entire country, but in the years immediately 
prior to 18 61, this change was most frequent and far rang- 
ing in the Northern states. While the North welcomed new 
immigration and the construction of factories, the South 
seemed determined to cling to its previous style of life. 

The industrial revolution meant a substitution of machine 
skill and strength for human skill and strength, and 
inanimate power for animate power. These changes meant 


that dull and monotonous tasks could be performed by 
machines that never tired or made a mistake. Goods which 
had previously been scarce and expensive could now be 
produced cheaply and in abundance. New breakthroughs in 
transportation, such as the building of canals and railroads 
meant that heavy industrial goods could be shipped cheaply 
to distant markets. As a result of these changes the face 
of America was forever altered. 

The impact of the Industrial Revolution on the war-making 
capacity of the North was also profound. By 1861, for 
the first time in modern history, a modern industrial 
power stood on the threshold of a major war. The result 
of this was a great increase in military violence. Only 
80 years before, George Washington could raise and equip 
relativly small armies. The men were available but the 
means to equip and feed them for extended periods of time 
were lacking. Wars cost money and required an economic 
surplus generated by the society. Colonial America, 
although rich by the standards of the day, was not rich 
enough to fight a long sustained war over a period of 
years, involving large numbers of men. Washington's army 
remained small, and the use of locally recruited and part- 
time militia was encouraged. 


The Civil War showed how far America had progressed as an 
industrial power. Large armies were raised by the North 
and kept in the field for years at a time. Troops could 
be shifted back and forth between the fighting fronts with 
relative ease. The longer the war lasted, the stronger the 
North grew. Military loses were slight in terms of the 
total population, and northern factories produced all the 
war material that was needed. Northern farms also pro- 
duced an abundance of food that could be shipped to the 
fighting fronts. 

By way of contrast, the South became weaker as the war pro- 
gressed. Few factories were located in the south and 
machines rapidly became unserviceable due to the lack of 
spare parts. Even in the best years, Lee's army was short 
of supplies. The lack of adequate supplies and the means 
to transport them meant that Lee could never invade the 
North in a way equal to Grant's invasion of Virginia in 
1861. Lee's movement into Pennsylvania in 1863 was a 
large scale raid, which had to end when supplies ran low. 
The North held the decisive edge in the Civil War because 
of the Industrial Revolution and City Point tells this 

7 75 

story better than any other place in American history. 
If City Point is important at all, it is because of the 
fact that it was the main supply depot for the Union 
armies besieging Petersburg. Here, at City Point, the 
threads of the Industrial Revolution were woven into the 
fabric of northern victory. 

The following pictures illustrate this with various 
scenes of — from the docks at City Point as army laborers 
struggle to unload the many ships that landed supplies 
every day. 



URE 40 , 

Negro laborers unloading supplies at the docks at City Point. 
RCE: Petersburg National Battlefield, Petersburg, Virginia, File #9 
Soldiers Life. 


riverfront at City Point. 

Petersburg National Battlefield , Petersburg , Virginia , File #18, 
Logistics and Communications . 

**j *'- £* N if* •■•'^i^-_ ^~ 


The riverfront at City Point. 
Source: Library of Congress §16173 B 8184-10501 



Unloading Supplies at City Point. 
Source: Library of Congress # 111-13-94 

7 *t) 

On an average day forty steamers, seventy-five sailing 
ships and one hundred barges would unload supplies at City 
Point. The wharves lined the James River for more than a 
mile and then turned up the Appomattox River . For a few 
short months City Point was one of the great seaports of 
the world. 

Regis De Trobriand, an eyewitness to the activities, 
described his impression: 

My baggage having arrived, I left 
on the evening of the 12th for City Point, 
where I arrived about four o'clock in the 
afternoon. Steamboats and sailing ves- 
sels, transports and lighters of all kinds, 
encumbered the river near the improvised 
wharves on which they were still working. 
Higher up, towards Richmond, the eye could 
distinguish at a distance the turrents of 
the monitors, which appeared to stand out 
of the water, and the gunboats, on which 
enormous pivot guns were visible. The 
river bank, rising up high, had been clear- 
ed and levelled, so as to make room for 
storehouses for supplies, and for a station 
for the railroad. All this had sprung out 
of the earth as if by magic, in less than 
a month. The railroad ran behind the 
docks; the locomotives were running back and 
forth, leaving long plumes of smoke, and on 
the ground trails of coals and sparks of 
fire. All was activity and movement. 
Legions of negroes were discharging the 
ships, wheeling dirt, sawing the timber, 
and driving piles. Groups of soldiers 
crowded around the sutlers' tents; horsemen 
in squadrons went down to the river to water 
their horses. And, on the upper plateau, 

7 S 7 

huts of different forms and sizes over- 
looked the whole scene below. A great vil- 
lage of wood and cloth was erected there, 
where a few weeks before were but two or 
three houses. ^ 

Once the stores and men were landed at City Point they 
would be loaded directly into a waiting train and be taken 
to the front. City Point provided the link between an 
efficient water transportation system and a rail trans- 
portation system. Without this supply link, Grant's 
siege of Petersburg would have been impossible. In the 
following two contemporary prints, we can see supplies 
and men being transferred from ship to train and from 
train to ship on the dock at City Point. These scenes 
were repeated dozens of times every day throughout the 


1 Regis De Trobriand, Four Years with the Army of the 
Potomac (Ticknor and Co., Boston, 1889) p. 544. 
















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The U.S. Military Railroad at City Point was built on 
the tracks of the previously existing City Point Rail- 
road. Grant chose City Point for his headquarters com- 
plex because of the existence of the City Point Railroad 
and the good water transportation available on the James 
River . 

The City Point Railroad predated the Civil War by many 
years. As early as 1833, Benjamin Cocke, the father of Dr. 
Richard Eppes, signed a petition presented to the General 
Assembly of Virginia, requesting permission to build a rail- 
road from Petersburg to City Point to replace the badly 
worn road. The City Point Railroad was incorporated on 
January 26, 183 6, and construction on the line began the 
following April. The entire length of the railroad was 
ten miles from City Point to Petersburg. Soon after the 
railroad was completed, a wharf was also proposed at City 
Point which would "admit vessels of the largest class, 
alongside, that reached City Point, together with suitable 

cranes for effecting the transition of produce and goods 


between the car on the roads and the vessels." 


John W. Starr, Jr., One Hundred Years of American 

Railroading (Dodd, Mead & Co., New York, 1928) p. 163. 


When the railroad was built, City Point was a small 
community that was home to between 90 to 100 residents. 
In the town there were twenty-five dwellings, three taverns, 
three retail shops, a school, a post office and a church. 
There were five wharves and a small mill making flour. 
City Point could also boast of having one doctor. 

By December 1838, City Point Railroad showed a total of 
twelve officials and employees on the payroll. Included 
in this total was a superintendent, captain of the train, 
an overseer of the road, a fireman, one watchman, and six 
laborers. The rolling stock consisted of two six-wheel 
locomotives, valued at over $13,000, 28 four-wheel freight 
cars, one eight-wheel and two four-wheel passenger cars. 

Although more information on the rolling stock of the City 
Point Railroad at this time is lacking, we can assume that 
the engines were ordered from the Baldwin Locomotive Works 

^Lutz, p. 131. 
4 Starr, p. 163. 


of Philadelphia and supplied to City Point by boat. A 
picture of the Baldwin Locomotive Works most successful 
model in 1836 follows: 

■^The Baldwin Locomotive Works produced almost all of 
America's steam engines in the 1830 ' s, and had shipped 
several successful models to southern railways prior to 
1836. It is logical to assume that the engines at the 
City Point Railroad were also built by Baldwin. 


*H5EVc*?**-~ "*" 




RE 46 

is engine was named 
Black Hawk and was 
first Baldwin engine 
se outside cylinders 

as Baldwin' s most 
essful model during 
1830' s . 

P. Alexander Iron 
es , American Loco- 
ves 1829-1900 , 
nza Books, New York. 






The engine was named the Black Hawk and was the first 
Baldwin engine to use outside cylinders. It was also the 
first to use the method of transmitting part of the tender ' s 
weight to the locomotive in order to increase traction. 
It was the most advanced locomotive of its day. 

The City Point Railroad never became a financially success- 
ful venture. Revenues remained low, while costs of salaries 
and repairs began to grow. In 1847, the Corporation of 
Petersburg acquired possession of the line and renamed 
it the Appomattox Railroad. The line became the property . 
of the South Side Railroad in 1854, and finally in 1887, it 
became part of the present Norfolk and Western System. ^ 

The story of the City Point Railroad reflects the history 
of modern industrial development in the South before 1861. 
Railroads and industry were present but not sufficiently 
developed to fight a war with the North on an equal basis. 
The industry and railroads that were present were absolutely 
vital to the success of the Confederate army. 

^E. P. Alexander, Iron Horses (Bonanza Books, New York, 
1941) pp. 50-51. 

Starr, p. 165. 


By 1864, the supply of Lee's Army of Northern Virginia had 
become a railroad problem, since food supplies in Virginia 
were exhausted. Both prestige and sentiment also forced 
Lee to defend Richmond; an additional reason to defend the 
city was that important manufacturing plants and arsenals 
were located there. If Richmond were to be held, and Lee's 
army supplied, Southern railroads had to do the job. It 
was for this reason that Petersburg was so important to 
the Confederate cause — the railroads connecting Richmond 
with the deep south ran through Petersburg. It was not 
necessary for Grant to take Richmond, all he had to do was 
to seize Petersburg and cut off supplies, and Richmond and 
Lee's army must then surrender. Both Lee and Grant were 
concerned with railroads in the Spring of 1864. Both were 
dependent on them for supplies and new recruits. At 
Petersburg, while Lee was defending his logistical supply 
lines to the south, Grant was developing his. The success 
of the Union water and rail communications at City Point 
translated into victory for Grant and the end of the war. 


The United States Military Railroads 

Early in the war the Federal government recognized the 
need to control and use railroads for military purposes. 
In an act dated January 31, 18 62 the Federal government 
set up the machinery for an agency to control the opera- 
tions of captured Southern railroads, and on February 11, 
1862, Daniel C. McCallum was appointed military director 
and superintendent of railroads in the United States. 
McCallum had authority to take possession of railroads, 
rolling stock, and equipment and to operate such lines 
as might be required for the transport of troops, arms 


and ammunition and military supplies. As a result of 
this action the foundation was laid for the creation of 
the United States Military Railroads. 

In addition to establishing government control over cap- 
tured lines, the Act of January 31, 1862 gave the govern- 
ment the authority to order the nation's railroads to 
transport troops and the necessities /of war to the exclu- 
sion of all other business. McCallum had sweeping power 

^George B. Abdill, Civil War Railroads (Superior Pub- 
lishing Co., Seattle) p. 9. 

9 Ibid. 

7 9 7 

to take over any railroad or railroad equipment needed 
to transport troops or military supplies. He did his 
job well, and caused little friction with the civilian 
owners of the lines he used. His major problem was to 
prevent various union officers from interfering with his 
trains, and to force local commanders to unload and release 
empty cars that were needed elsewhere. By 1866, when 
McCallum made his final report the U.S., Military Rail- 
roads controlled 611 miles of track. 10 

Grant had acquired some experience in siege warfare at 
Vicksburg, and even before his arrival at City Point he 
ordered the construction of a railroad behind the lines 
to supply his army. Grant directed Mr. C. L. McAlpine, 
engineer of construction and repairs, to proceed to City 
Point and Petersburg as soon as possible. McAlpine 
arrived on June 18, 1864, and began to build the railroad. ^ 

McAlpine found the old City Point Railroad tracks in a 
state of complete disrepair and began' to build almost from 

10 See Appendix VTI f or details. 

i:L Badeau, 111, p. 2. 

12see Appendix VIII for a complete description of the con- 
struction history of the U. S. Military Railroad at City Point 

7 92 

scratch. The men of the construction corps worked hard, 
and on July 7 , 1864 the line was fully constructed and 
running men and material to the front. *■■* Supplies now 
moved easily to the troops in the trenches. 

By following the Military Railroad base map of City Point, 
it is possible to locate many of the structures shown on 
contemporary photographs. In the following picture we can 
see the unfinished engine house at City Point on September 
1, 1864 (Map reference 10-11, L-M) . 

13 0. R. Ill, V, p. 70. 


, ;f if.-ii. '". r Um 'I — itf ti*fa» ..«r--«** — '■ -r- ■* — V.V 

^ o <=^ 


URE 4? • u ^ a + rifu Point on September 1, 1864. 

Unfinished engine house at City Point on p ^^ 

zee: George B. Abdill Civil War Railroads, New 

za Books, 

1961, p. 2 

The U.S.M.R.R. locomotive at the left is the Lt. General 
Grant, built by Rogers, Ketcham & Grosvenor in 1852, Shop 
No. 326, and named the Delaware for the Central Railroad 
of New Jersey. This engine was acquired second-hand by 
the U.S.M.R.R. and was refitted by the Army in the 
Alexandria Shops with a Mason bell stand and a headlight 
bracket. Her cylinders were also rebored. A new cab 
stand was also applied. " The engine behind her is the 

"1 c 

Baldwin locomotive General Dix. J Between May 1862 and 
June 18 64, the Baldwin locomotive Works at Philadelphia 

built thirty-three engines for the United States Military 

Railroads. The following two pictures show the engine 

house at a later date. 

14 Abdill, p. 2. 
15 Ibid. 

l^Fred Westing, The Locomotives that Baldwin Built 
(Bonanza Books, New York), p. 43. 




r "-.- j- * ^" >- ; 


Railroad engines at City Point. 
Source: Library of Congress #56531 BH841-32 


The engine house and new track being worked on. 

Figure 49 

The engine house and new track construction 
Source: Library of Congress #111-B-5182 . 


These two pictures show the engine house and water tanks 
from two different views. In the first picture we can 
see three locomotives. The engine on the right foreground, 
with her tender reversed, is the President, an old East- 
wick & Harrison 4-4-0 that was confiscated by Federal 

forces from the Winchester & Potomac Railroad, which ran 

to Harper's Ferry. The cars coupled ahead of the Presi- 
dent are loaded with material being used to create a fill 
to the left of the three tracks leading to the engine 
house. A track was later laid on this fill leading to a 
turntable, which was installed at the left of the engine 
house. ° This turntable is located on line L between points 
10 and 11 of the base map. 

17 Ibid. , p. 103. 





These three photos show the track leading to the turntable beside 
the engine house. 

'OURCE: Edwin P. Alexander, Civil War Railroads and Models , New York, 
Crown Publishers , Inc., p. 223. 


Water supply for both men and locomotives along the line 
often created a serious problem. Water was often scarce 
and of poor quality. To overcome this problem, troops 
were instructed to dig wells from twelve to fifteen feet 
deep in areas where water was known to occur. To protect 
the water from the heat of the sun, canopies were erected 

over the wells, and as a result, both the locomotives and 

men had a cool supply of water. 

The photograph below was taken at the water tanks at City 
Point. The location is just north of line 10, between 
points M and N on the base map. The tanks are wooden tubs 

about twelve feet in diameter and eight feet deep, 

placed upon a wood-framed stand. In this photograph 

we see a good broadview of one of the 4-4-0 type wood- 
burners built by R. Norris & Son. The engine is probably 
the Governor Nye. Behind the water tank at left is the 
spur track leading out on a trestle to the Magazine Wharf, 
where munitions for Grant's army was unloaded for transfer 
to the freight cars. 


Rauscher, pp. 188-189. 

20 Abdill, p. 103. 



The water tanks at City Point. 
•ource: Library of Congress §56530 B8171-2513 


In the following two pictures we can see the spur track 
leading out to the ordnance wharf (from point 10M to 
point 9Q) . The ordnance wharf was probably constructed 
after the August 9, munitions explosion which claimed 
many lives. It was built five hundred feet into the 
river to minimize the effect of any future disaster. 
Fortunately, none occurred. 


; « 


* (. 

GVRE 5 2 {' 

Spur track leading to the ordnance wharf 7 ' 
URCE : Petersburg National Battlefield , Petersburg , Virginia , File 
§18, Logistics and Communications 

Ordnance Mart 


nance wharf at City Point 
t Library of Congress #16173 B8184-10503 


The following picture shows the north end of the engine 
house just before the bend in the tracks leading to the 
water front. (Map location Line 11, between points L and 
M) . The railroad car in the second picture (same location) 
belonged to President Lincoln. The last two pictures show 
an early wharf and other structures under construction. 


end of the engine house just before the bend in the tracks 
\g to the water front. 
Library of Congress #56530 RS252-29438 . 


•ident Lincoln' s private railroad car at City Point 
Library of Congress §56531 RS B4825-15. 



Wharf construction at City Point 


Construction of a temporary trestle and additional structures . 

SOURCE: E. P. Alexander , Civil War Railroads and Models , pp. 224- 


Traveling North along the tracks toward the water front 
(between lines 11 and 12 and L and M), we see in the follow- 
ing photograph the 4-4-0 engine, Col. A. Beckwith. This 
engine, formerly named the P.H. Watson, was built by R. 
Norris & Son and was received by the Military Railroad 

on June 23, 1863. At the close of the war, the engine was 

sold to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad for $10,500. In 

the background of this photograph can be seen a footpath 
and crude steps cut into the bank leading up to a com- 
missary building, and other structures occupied by the 
Army Quartermaster Corps. 


Abdill, p. 101. 




United States Military Railroad engine at City Point 
SOURCE: Mollus Collection §5670. 

- ^ .i. r »,, rur ii i I n -. »r. .,-^,n- ,.^ >-»- > M .,. ^■•C ( j 'f n- w ' i W . <■«■' ■.« .»? .■»«,.» t .1.^. .»».■■ ,M J < ." >.. . P , «n .^ ,. ,.,1 ^.'il >i . V -j^-. 

BauMjttM^a ■•---■* 


The next picture shows an engine of the U. S. Military 
Railroad traveling on the bank of the James river (located 
between lines 14 and 15 and L and M on the base map) . To 
the left of the trains can be seen a six-horse team and 
wagon ready to carry supplies. In spite of the industrial 
efficiency of the railroads at City Point the horse and mule 
were still indispensable. 


Horse and mule transportation at City Point 
SOURCE: Abdill p. 101. 

Traveling further north, in the nexf picture we can see an 

unfinished warehouse along the water front. (Points 16 to 

19 and L to J on the base map) . The picture was probably 

taken in late July or in early August, 18 64. The engine in 


the picture appears to be a 4-4-0 engine built by 
Danforth, Cooke & Company, and is typical of the motive 
power at City Point. This engine had 54 inch driving wheels 

and cylinders 16 by -22 inches. It weighed 62,000 lbs. and 



was intended for general freight service. 

^ 2 E. p. Alexander, Iron Horses (Bonanza Book, New York) 
p. 136. 


GURE 60 

Unfinished warehouse and railroad engine along the waterfront 
July 5 , 1864. 

URCE: Library of Congress #56530 RS B8184-795 . 


In the next picture we can see a more detailed version of 
this same engine in civilian use. 



The next picture shows the dock area further down the 
James River (points 20 and 22 and G to B on the base map) 
This is near the area of Grant's cabin and Appomattox 
Manor. It is interesting to note that even though we are 
now past the main docking area and warehouses, there is 
still considerable activity. 


area at City Point July 5, 1864. 
Library of Congress §56530 RS B8184-796 


The railroad not only carried supplies and men to the 
the fighting front, but was also adapted for direct 
military use. Included among the big guns at Petersburg 
was a thirteen-inch seacoast mortar in the inventory of 
the 1st Connecticut Artillery commanded by Colonel Henry 
L. Abbott. Its extreme weight of seventeen thousand pounds 
rendered it almost unmanageable under field conditions. "* 
This gun could throw a two-hundred pound projectile nearly 
two miles. General Benjamin Butler mounted this mortar 
on a heavily reinforced railroad flat car (see following 
picture) . The "Dictator" or the "Petersburg Express" as 
the weapon was variously known, was highly successful and 
was used within easy range of Confederate lines. It was 
placed on a curved siding so that the direction of fire 
could easily be changed by rolling the car a few feet in 
either direction. 

With a nominal charge of fourteen pounds of powder, the 
recoil would shift the mortar less _than two feet on the car 
and move the car about a dozen feet along the track. The 
principal target of the "Dictator" was the Confederate's 

23 Sylvester, pp. 311-312. 
24 Ibid. 


"Chesterfield Battery," which was situated on the banks 

of the Appomattox River and maintained an annoying enfilade 


fire along the Federal lines. " Occasionally, fire from 

the Dictator would overshoot the Confederate line and reach 




6 3 
mortar "Dictator" in front of Petersburg , Va. 
Library of Congress #56530 B8184-B269 . 


In the next picture the "Dictator" is seen resting in a 
semi-permanent position on the tracks near the front. 




SOulaT^V'l reSt±n f in ^mi-permanent position 
SOURCE: Library of Congress #57340 


Working on the trains at City Point could occasionally be 
dangerous. Rebel gunners would listen for the trains and 
fire at them. Rebel snipers and sharpshooters would also 
try to pick off the engineers on the trains. Generally, 
these efforts were unsuccessful, but the tension and shell 

fire made the civilian engineers some of Uncle Sam's best 

o f, 
paid employees. ° The following picture shows some of 

the superintendents and conductors in a more relaxed 



26 - -' 

The demand for skilled locomotive engineers was great, 

and experienced men were recruited from all over the North 

to handle the throttles on the military lines. The engineers 

ranked at the top of the operating crews' wage scale. Their 

pay averaged $3.00 per day. Fireman made $1.75, conductors 

$1.66 and brakemen about $1.33. 


tip SKV 
















w • 

in on 
O M 

3 =»te 

C C 

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C 0) 

01 O 
■U (J 


Q) «1 

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C H 
■U O 

q s: 

Id ata 

OS 3 O 

t3 CO OS 

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fa Wi 


A rebel battery of Whitworth guns did most of the shooting 
at the trains, and many men in the ranks would run out from 
the trenches after the shooting was over and pick up the 
unexploded rebel shells as curiosities. ' 

All through the Fall and Winter, as Grant kept extending 
his lines, the military engineers kept building the rail- 
road behind him. Grading was held to a minimum and the 
worst spots were bridged with extensive trestles built 
almost overnight. Some of the resulting grades were so 
steep that many onlookers wondered how a locomotive could 
ever make the climb. The men in the construction camps 
knew their business and the trains kept the army supplied. 

City Point kept the men in the ranks well equipped and 
supplied during the siege. According to one private, "the 
army fared better on the lines before Petersburg than at 
any other time in my experience." 2 ** Food -was plentiful and 
varied. A list of the rations included salt pork, fresh 
beef, salt beef, ham and bacon, hard/ bread, soft bread, 
potatoes, onions, flour, beans, split peas, rice, dried 

27 Charles M. Clark, M.D. The History of the Thirty- 
ninth Regiment, Illinois Volunteer Veteran Infantry (Chicago, 
1889) pp. 218-219. 

2 ^warren Lee Gross, Recollections of a Private (Thomas 
Y. Crowell & Co. , New York) p. 33. 


apples, desiccated vegetables, coffee, tea, sugar, molasses, 


vinegar, candles, soap, pepper and salt. J 

Not all of this was served at one time, but the troops did 
enjoy a varied diet. In addition to army rations the 
Sanitary Commission supplied fruit and vegetables and 
other luxuries. Wagons loaded with fresh produce were 
driven along the lines, and the articles were place directly 
in the hands of the men who would consume them. The men 
also had access to sutlers, who followed the army and sold 
almost anything that could realize a profit. Numerous 
sutler establishments were located at City Point near 
Grant's Headquarters. (Between lines 17 and 18, B and I) 
Sutlers sold butter, bologna sausages, pies, self -rising 
flour, liquor (unofficially), canned fruits, sweet potatoes 
and pots and pans. Sutlerships at City Point and elsewhere 
were eagerly sought after, and could return an enormous 
profit. 31 Considering the lack of supplies on the other 
side of the line, the Union soldiers in the trenches before 
Petersburg were rich men. 

29 John D. Billings, Hardtack and Coffee (R.R. Donnelley 
& Sons, Chicago, I960), p. 111. 

-^Charles J. Stil^ History of the U.S. Sanitary Commission 
(Philadelphia, J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1866), p. 399. 

3 lDonald P. Spear, "The Sutler in the Union Army," Civil 
War History , June, 1970, pp. 122-129. 



The modern telegraph and the instant communications it 
afforded were indispensable to the operations of the head- 
quarters complex at City Point. When Grant assumed the 
rank of Lieutenant General, he was given command of the 
Armies of the United States. Headquarters were located in 
Washington, and with General Grant in the field. This 
did not mean that Grant was going to assume respon- 
sibility for the day-to-day operations of the Armies of 
the United States. Grant had his own hands full with 
Lee in the East, and had to rely on trusted subordinates. 
However, in terms of major decisions and overall strategy, 
Grant was always consulted and very often issued the final 
orders. All of this was possible only because of the 
existence of the telegraph system. 

The telegraph followed Grant into the f iel-d, and he used 
it to keep in contact with the various elements of the Army 
of the Potomac and with Washington— - Grant had at his dis- 
posal all of the resources of the army telegraph and the 
fine commercial system of the North. Telegraph operators 
were civilian employees of the Quartermaster Corps and had 


no official standings. They suffered casualties from 
disease, death in battle, wounds and capture, and were 
denied pensions after the war. The operators lived a 
dangerous life, and often had to work alone in dangerous 
and isolated places. They were favorite targets for 
Confederate sharpshooters. Writing years after the Wilder- 
ness Campaign, one operator, William R. Plum, relates : 

In a diary of an operator on the 
field, I find: "Very heavy fighting 
indeed. The telegraph played an import- 
ant part; offices being opened at head- 
quarters on the right were under heavy 
fire, and one, if not two of them, 
retreated in decidedly had order." 
(The only instance during the campaign 
of an operator being frightened from 
his post. "Operator Sam Edwards was 
ordered to go there, and did so fearless- 
ly, although exposed to great danger." 
Edwards and E.A. Hall especially dis- 
tinguished themselves for bravery on 
many occasions during this campaign. 
Rose and W. C. Hall's office, like 
most of the others, was within easy 
reach of the enemy's guns, and sustained 
quite a heavy shelling during the action 
at Cold Harbor. One shell passed directly 
over their telegraph tent and cut off two 
legs of a mule standing near by. On four 
other occasions their office was under 
fire, and during one of them Captain 
McCune, provost marshal at head-quarters 
lost a leg. The Eighteenth Corps having 
reinforced Grant's army, George Henderson 


and C. K. Hambright, operators kept 
its commander, Smith in telegraphic 
communication with Meade's quarters. 
The enemy's shells killed a soldier 
close by the operators' office, near 
Cold Harbor. C. J. Ryan arrived 
shortly after and relieved Hambright 
at a time when head-quarters was sub- 
jected to a galling fire. 32 

When Grant arrived at City Point, telegraphic offices were 
promptly established in the East Dining Room of Appomattox 
Manor. Marks can still be seen on the window sills from 
the heavy wires that came into the house. Telegraphic 
communication was promptly established with other commands 
in the field. The importance of these communication links 
between the various armies cannot be over emphasized. 
General Sherman discussed the value of the telegraph during 
this period and said: 

The value of the magnetic telegraph 
in war can not be exaggerated, as was 
illustrated by the perfect concert of 
action between the armies in Virginia and 
in Georgia, in all 1864. Hardly a day 
intervened when General Grant did not 
know the exact state of facts with me, 
more than fifteen hundred miles off, as 
the wires ran. 33 

32william R. Plumb, The Military Telegraph (Jansen, 
McClurg & Co., Chicago, 1882), pp. 138-139. 

33 ibid., pp. 140-141. 


Telegraphic operators had to be discreet. They had led 
important dispatches containing secret and confidential 
information. On occassion, they were suspected of having 
leaked this information 

After the Battle of the Crater, Meade was very critical 
of Burnside's handling of the affair and sent Grant many 
messages to this effect. Burnside managed to obtain 
copies of this correspondence. Meade learned of this and 
was furious, and had Burnside's telegraph operators 
arrested and confined with other prisoners to the guard- 
house. The two suspected men were eventually tried for 
the offense and acquitted. Meade was still furious and 
had the two sent away from Petersburg. A short time later, 
Meade needed additional telegraph operators and/ since 
operators were always in short supply, the two men were 
returned to Petersburg and returned to duty. 34 

In the next photograph are five men who served as telegraph 
operators at City Point in 1864-1865. When Lincoln visited 
City Point in 1865, he virtually lived in the telegraph 
office in the company of the following men. 


Ibid., p. 259. 

2 3 7 

^c -i^? r •. I ~ J^rA**. % u ~ -t*** h.-« i^E* 


riG[7i?E 6 6 

Telegraph operators at City Point. 
'OURCE : Francis Trevelyan Miller ed . , The Photographic History of the 

Civil War, New York, Thomas Yoseloff , 1957. Vol . VIII, p. T59 . 

All military telegrams from the front went to City Point 
and then to Washington via Fort Powhatan, Jamestown Island, 
Yorktown, Fort Monroe, Cherrystone and Wilmington. 35 

Wiretapping on the lines always remained a problem. The 
most successful and prolonged wiretapping operation of the 
war occurred at Petersburg when C. H. Gaston, Lee's con- 
fidential operator, tapped union lines from City Point 
for six weeks. Although he was unable to read the military 
codes and this information was never translated and used by 
Lee, he did learn that 2,58 6 cattle were to be landed at 
Coggins Point on a certain day. Lee gave this information 
to Wade Hampton, who used it to plan his famous raid. 

The strategic use of the telegraph to coordinate the move- 
ments of the Union Armies can best be seen in the correspond- 
ence between Grant and Sherman concerning Sherman ' s march 
to the sea. 

After the capture of Atlanta the question arose concerning 
the next move for Sherman. A discussion immediately took 

35 ibid. , p. 260. 
36 Miller, vol. 8, p. 364. 



place concerning the advisability of a march to the sea. 

Telegrams went back and forth between the two Generals and 
the question was studied by Grant and his officers daily. 
On September 10, 1864, Grant sent Sherman the following 


City Point, Va., Sept. 10, 1864 

Major-General Sherman, 

Atlanta, Georgia. 

So soon as your men are sufficiently rested, 
and preparations can be made, it is desirable 
that another campaign should be commenced. 
We want to keep the enemy constantly pressed 
to the end of the war. If we give him no 
peace whilst the war lasts, the end cannot 
be distant. Now that we have all of Mobile 
Bay that is valuable, I do not know but it 
will be the best move to transfer Canby's 
troops to act upon Savannah, whilst you move 
on Augusta. I should like to hear from you, 
however, in this matter. 


"5 Q 

Lieutenant-General . 

Sherman replied favorably, and two days after Grant turned 

to Col. Horace Porter of his staff and said: 

Sherman and I have exchanged ideas 
regarding his next movement about as far 
as we can by correspondence, and I have 
been thinking that it would be well for 
you to start for Atlanta to-morrow, and 

37 Porter, p. 287. 

38 Grant, Memoirs , vol. 11, p. 348 


talk over with him the whole subject of 
his next campaign. We have debated it 
so much here that you know my views 
thoroughly, and can answer any of Sher- 
man's questions as to what I think in 
reference to the contemplated movement, 
and the action which should be taken in 
the various contingencies which may arise. 
Sherman's suggestions are excellent, and 
no one is better fitted for carrying them 
out. I can comply with his views in regard 
to meeting him with ample supplies at any 
point on the sea-coast which it may be 
decided to have him strike for. You can 
tell him that I am going to send an expedi- 
tion against Wilmington, North Carolina, 
landing the troops on the coast north of 
Fort Fisher; and with the efficient coopera- 
tion of the navy we shall no doubt get 
control of Wilmington harbor by the time 
he reaches and captures other points on the 
sea-coast. Sherman has made a splendid cam- 
paign, and the more I reflect upon it the 
more merit I see in it. I do not want to 
hamper him any more in the future than in 
the past with detailed instructions. I want 
him to carry out his ideas freely in the 
coming movement, and to have all the credit 
of its success. Of this success I have no 
doubt. I will write Sherman a letter, which 
you can take to him. 39 

Porter carried out this job successfully and plans for the 
march to the sea were crystallized. Porter returned to City 
Point on September 27, and reported- to Grant. While Sherman 
made his plans, Grant began to grow worried about Hood's 
army. Grant made known his concern to Sherman in a telegraph 

39 Porter, p. 288 


on November 1, 1864. 

City Point, November 1, 1864 — 6p.m. 

Major-General SHERMAN: 

Do you not think it advisable, now 
that Hood has gone so far north, to 
entirely ruin him before starting on your 
proposed campaign? I believed and still 
believe, if you had started south while 
Hood was in the neighborhood of you, he 
would have been fared to go after you. 
Now that he is far away he might look 
upon the chase as useless, and he will 
go in one direction while you are push- 
ing in the other. If you can see a 
chance of destroying Hood's army, attend 
to that first, and make your other move 
secondary. 40 

U. S. GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

Sherman was more familiar with the situation and replied on 

November 2, 1864. 

Rome, Georgia, November 2, 18 64 

Lieutenant-General U.S. GRANT, City Point, Virginia 

Your dispatch is received. " If I could 
hope to overhaul Hood, I would turn against 
him with my whole force; then he would 
retreat to the southwest, drawing me as a 
decoy away from Georgia, -which is his chief 
object. If he ventures north of the Tennessee 
River, I may turn in that direction, and 
endeaver to get below him on his line of 
retreat; but thus far he has not gone above 

William T. Sherman, Memoirs, (Henry S. King & Co 
London, 1875), p. 164. 


the Tennessee River. General Thomas will 
have a force strong enough to prevent his 
reaching any country in which we have an 
interest; and he has orders, if Hood turns 
to follow me, to push for Selma, Alabama. 
No single army can catch Hood, and I am 
convinced the best results will follow 
from our defeating Jeff. Davis's cherished 
plan of making me lease Georgia by maneuver 
ing. Thus far I have confined my efforts 
to thwart this plan, and have reduced bag-^ - 
gage so that I can pick up and start in 
any directions; but I regard the pursuit 
of Hood as useless. Still, if he attempts 
to invade Middle Tennessee, I will hold 
Decatur, and be prepared to move in that 
direction; but, unless I let go of Atlanta, 
my force will not be equal to his. 

W.T. SHERMAN, Major-General 4 x 

Grant was satisfied, and on November 2, 18 64, he telegraphed 
Sherman, authorizing him to move according to the plan he 
had proposed. Sherman then cut loose from his base, gave 
up Atlanta and the railroad back to Chattanooga, and began 
his famous march to the sea. 

City Point, Virginia, November 2, 1861 — 

Major-General SHERMAN: /V 

Your dispatch of 9 a.m. yesterday is just 
received. I dispatched you the same date, 
advising that Hood's army, now that it had 
worked so far north, ought to be looked upon 

41 Ibid. , p. 165. 


now as the "object." With the force, 
however, that you have left with 
General Thomas, he must be able to 
take care of Hood and destroy him. 

I do not see that you can with- 
draw from where you are to follow Hood, 
without giving up all we have gained in 
Territory. I say, then, go on as you 

4 2 
U.S.GRANT, Lieutenant-General 

This episode illustrates how Grant used his telegraph service 
to exercise control over the other Union armies outside of 
the immediate area of City Point. Grant had been appointed 
Commander-in-Chief of all the Union armies and he exercised 
this control through the use of the telegraph. 

Other examples could also be given. In a letter by Adam 
Badeau written on July 21, 1865, to George Stuart of the U. 
S. Christian Commission, Badeau pointed out that from Grant's 
Cabin on the grounds of Dr. Richard Eppes estate great 
events occurred. 

Here he received the reports of his 
great subordinates almost- daily, and sent 
them each their orders and their rewards. 
Here he watched Sherman's route as he 
came across the continent to the sea, and 
afterwards along his memorable march through 

42 Ibid, p. 166. 


the Carol inas; from here he dispatched 
his instructions to Thomas, which resulted 
in the battle of Nashville and the dis- 
comfiture of Hood, so that a concentration 
of any great force in front of Sherman was 
impossible. From here he directed Terry 
in the operations which culminated in the 
fall of Fort Fisher. From here he directed 
Sherman and Schofield, bringing one North- 
ward through the Carolinas and the other 
Eastward in dead winter across the North, 
and then sending him by sea to meet his 
great captain at Goldsboro, the cooperation 
being so complete that the two armies arriv- 
ed one from Nashville and the other from 
Savannah, on the same day. Here he received 
the Rebel commissioners on their way to meet 
President Lincoln; here he ordered Sheridan's 
glorious movements, whose importance in pro- 
ducing the last great result can hardly be 
overestimated; from here he directed Canby 
in the campaign whose conclusion was the 
fall of Mobile; from here he dispatched 
Wilson and Stoneman on their final raids. 
Here he received the President, Gen. Sherman, 
Gen. Sheridan. Gen. Meade and Admiral Porter 
in an interview interesting beyond comparison 
in the meeting at one time and place of so 
many men of such importance by their talents 
and their positions; and here the lamented 
Lincoln passed many of the latest hours of 
his life before its crowing success had been 
achieved. Here the latest orders for all 
these generals were penned before the com- 
mencement of the great campaign which termi- 
nated the war. 43 

Just as the railroad and steamship kept the troops supplied 
with food and munitions, the Military Telegraph kept Grant, and 
his headquarters staff supplied with information. If City 

^Badeau Letter, Fairmount Park Files. 


Point is important at all in the development of military 
tactics and in military history, it is because of the 
impact of logistics and communications and the way these 
problems were handled and solved. It was here at City 
Point in 1864 and 1865 that modern industrialized war 
first came to America and the world. 


Chapter V 

Lincoln and other Visitors at City Point 

Soon after Grant's arrival at City Point on June 15, 18 64, 
he began to receive a stream of official and unofficial 
visitors. These visitors included everyone from President 
Lincoln, to generals in command of other armies, to mem- 
bers of Lincoln's cabinet and members of congress. Grant 
also received many visits from civilians seeking help. 
This stream of visitors soon reached flood proportions and 
Grant was forced to post guards around his camp to keep 
the curious and favor seekers away. 

Grant received his visitors in front of his office tent 
and later in the front room of his cabin. A rustic bench 
and a number of folding chairs with backs were placed there, 
and it was here that important interviews were held. When 
secrecy was required, Grant and his visitor would retire to 
his office tent.^ 

President Lincoln and his son Tad arrived at City Point on 
Tuesday, June 21, 1864. Porter described the meeting 

-'■Porter, p. 212 


between the two men on that day: 

On Tuesday, June 21, a white 
river- streamer arrived at the wharf, 
bringing President Lincoln, who had 
embraced this opportunity to visit 
for the first time the armies under 
General Grant's immediate command. 
As the boat neared the shore, the 
general and several of us who were 
with him at the time walked down to 
the wharf, in order that the general- 
in-chief might meet his distinguished 
visitor and extend a greeting to him 
as soon as the boat made the landing. 
As our party stepped aboard, the Presi- 
dent came down from the upper deck, 
where he had been standing, to the 
after-gangway, and reaching out his 
long, angular arm, he wrung General 
Grant's hand vigorously, and held it 
in his for some time, while he 
uttered in rapid words his congratu- 
lations and expressions of appreciation 
of the great task which had been accom- 
plished since he and the general had 
parted in Washington. 

Porter, taking copious notes, recalled the conversation 
that followed. 

The group then went into the after- 
cabin. General Grant said.-: "I hope you 
are very well, Mr. President." "Yes, I 
am in very good health," Mr. Lincoln 
replied; "but I don't feel very comfort- 
able after my trip last night on the bay. 

2 Ibid., pp. 215-217. 


It was rough, and I was considerably 
shaken up. My stomach has not yet 
entirely recovered from the effects." 
An officer of the party now saw that 
an opportunity had arisen to make 
this scene the supreme moment of his 
life, in giving him a chance to 
soothe the digestive organs of the 
Chief Magistrate of the nation. He 
said: "Try a glass of champagne, Mr. 
President. That is always a certain 
cure for seasickness." Mr. Lincoln 
looked at him for a moment, his face 
lighting up with a smile, and then 
remarked: "No, my friend; I have 
seen too many fellows seasick ashore 
from drinking that very stuff." 
This was a knockdown for the officer, 
and in the laugh at his expense Mr. 
Lincoln and the general both joined 

General Grant now said: "I know 
it would be a great satisfaction for 
the troops to have an opportunity of 
seeing you, Mr. President; and I am 
sure your presence among them would 
have a very gratifying effect. I 
can furnish you a good horse, and 
will be most happy to escort you to 
points of interest along the line." 
Mr. Lincoln replied: "Why, yes; I 
had fully intended to go out and take 
a look at the brave fellows who have 
fought their way dovnto Petersburg in 
this wonderful campaign, and I am 
ready to start at any time. "3 

Grant introduced Lincoln to members of his staff. The two 
men then mounted horses and rode to Meade's and Butler's ' 

3 Ibid. 


headquarters. Lincoln was cheered by the troops at the 

camp of the colored Eighteenth Corps and was mobbed by enthu- 

siatic well wishers. 

Always impressionable, the enthusiasm 
of the blacks now knew no limits. They 
cherred, laughed, cried, sang hymns of 
praise, and shouted in their negro dialect, 
"God bress Massa Linkumi" "De Lord save 
Fader Abraham!" "De day ob jubilee am 
come, shuah." They crowded about him and 
fondled his horse; some of them kissed his 
his hands, while other ran off crying in 
triumph to their comrades that they had 
touched his clothes. The President rode 
with bared head; the tears had started to 
his eyes, and his voice was so broken by 
emotion that he could scarcely articulate 
the words of thanks and congratulation 
which he tried to speak to the humble and 
devoted men through whose ranks he rode 
The scene was affecting in the extreme, 
and no one could have witnessed it unmoved. 4 

That evening Grant and his staff entertained Lincoln at the 
City Point headquarters. Lincoln talked freely and told his 
famous stories and all had a good time. 

That night Lincoln slept on the boat /that brought him to 
City Point. The next day he traveled up river to meet with 

4 Ibid., pp. 219-220 


Admiral Lee and General Butler. Soon after, he returned to 
City Point, and then returned to Washington. According to 
Porter, Lincoln's visit to the army was a memorable event 
and he (Lincoln) and General Grant had a good visit and 
that they parted from each other with unfeigned regret, and 
both felt that their acquaintence had ripened into a - 
genuine friendship. 

On Saturday, July 23, 18 64, William H. Seward, the Secretary 
of State, visited Grant at City Point. Seward arrived 
early in the morning on the steamer, the City of Hudson. 
Grant had seen little of the Secretary of State and made 
him welcome. After the officers of the staff were presented, 
Seward began to talk and talk. Since Seward had been 
involved in so many complex negotions, members of Grant's 
staff were anxious to hear the details. The first topic 
of conversation was the strained state of American rela- 
tions with England during the first year of the war, and 
especially the Trent Affair. Mr. Seward related the story 
to Grant's staff. 

The report first received from the 
British government gave a most exaggerated 
account of the severity of the measures 

5 Ibid. , pp. 223-224. 


which had been employed? but I found 
from Commodore Wilkes ' s advices that 
the vessel had not been endangered by 
the shots fired across her bows, as 
charged; that he had simply sent a 
lieutenant and a boat's crew to the 
British vessel; that none of the 
crew even went aboard; that the 
lieutenant used only such a show of 
force as was necessary to convince 
the 'contraband' passengers he wanted 
that they would have to go with him 
aboard the San Jacinto. The books 
on international law were silent on 
the subject as to exactly how an act 
such as this should be treated; and 
as our relations abroad were becoming 
very threatening, we decided, after 
a serious discussion, that whatever 
was to be done should be done promptly, 
and that, under all the circumstances, 
it would be wise and prudent to release 
the prisoners captured, rather than con- 
tend for a principle which might not 
have been sound, and run the risk of be- 
coming involved in a war with Great 
Britain at that critical period. The 
great desire of the Davis government was 
to have this incident embroil us in such 
a war, and we were not anxious to please 
it in the respect. Our decision in the 
matter was the severest blow the Con- 
federacy received in regard to its hope 
of 'assistance from abroad. '"6 

Seward continued with a discussion of the recent destruc- 
tion of the Alabama, and Louis Napoleon's efforts to estab- 
lish an empire in Mexico. After additional conversation, ' 

6 Ibid., pp. 253-254. 


Seward visited some of the nearer army camps and traveled 

up the James River to visit General Butler. Seward left City 

Point that same day to keep an appointment at Norfolk. 

Late in August, General Grant's family came to visit him 
at City Point. Mrs. Grant, Colonel Dent, her brother, and 
the four Grant children, Frederick, fourteen years old, 
Ulysses Jr., twelve, Nilke, nine and Jessie, six, all 
were there . 

Grant's wife was a frequent visitor to City Point in the 
following months, and Grant always sent a ship to meet her. 
Grant would come down the James River and meet his wife 
at Fortress Monroe and take her onto his boat for the trip 
to City Point. Even on board ship, Grant was not free 
from petitioners. Mrs. Grant recalled one incident. 

On one occasion, as I came out of 
my stateroom where the General was still 
asleep — he always slept late and went 
late to bed — an excited young woman 
approached me carrying a rgsy baby in her 
arms, saying, "I want to -see General 
Grant." I replied: "He is not awake. 
You cannot see him." She exclaimed 
wildly, "I must see him I I must see him! 
I will!" and, bursting into tears, cried, 
"Oh Madam, let me see him. My husband 
is sentenced to be shot." "When?" I 
asked. She exclaimed, "this day, at 


twelve o'clock, and it was all my fault. 
You see, the baby here was over seven 
months old, and he had never seen it, and, 
sure, I though they could never miss him 
from out all these thousands of men. So 
I wrote and begged him to come just to 
see the baby, you know, He did come, and 
now they have caught him and say he is a 
deserter, and, sure, Madam, it is all my 
fault, as sure as I stand here, before 
my God! Oh, let me see General Grant!" 

I went to the stateroom and hurriedly 
repeated the woman's statement. The 
General replied: "I cannot interfere. 
She must go to General (Marsena R. ) Patrick." 
"But," I exclaimed, "it is today the man 
is to be shot, at twelve o'clock, and it 
is nearly nine now." He still said: "I 
cannot interfere." So I threw open the 
door and said to the woman: "You may 
enter and tell the General youself." The 
baby was amusing itself by reaching up and 
pulling down its mother's veil, whose face 
was bathed in tears. I told her to sit 
down and tell her own story. The General 
soon called to me to send him paper and 
ink. And the woman shortly came out, 
looking almost transfigured, saying, "God 
bless you, Madam, and God bless the General." 
When I went in to thank the General, he 
replied: "I'm sure I did wrong. I've no 
doubt I have pardoned a bounty jumper who 
ought to have been hanged. "7 

Grant was fond of his children and saw as much of them as 
possible. His family was lodged on the boat in the James River 
and spent many hours with Grant at his camp. The morning 


Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant, The Personal Memoirs of Julia 

Dent Grant (G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York), pp. 132-13 3. 


after their arrival, Porter entered Grant's tent and saw 
him playing with his children. 

I found him in his shirt-sleeves 
engaged in a rough-and-tumble wrestling- 
match with the two older boys . He had 
become red in the face, and seemed nearly 
out of breath from the exertion. The 
lads had just tripped him up, and he was 
on his knees on the floor grappling with 
the youngsters, and joining in their 
merry laughter, as if he were a boy again 
himself. I had several despatches in my 
hand, and when he saw that I had come on 
business, he disentangled himself after 
some difficulty from the young combatants, 
rose to his feet, brushed the dust of his 
knees with his hand, and said in a sort 
of apologetic manner: "Ah, you know my 
weaknesses — my children and my horses." 
The children often romped with him, and 
joined in their frolics as if they were 
all playmates together. The younger 
ones would hang about his neck while he 
was writing, make a terrible mess of his 
papers, and turn everything in his tent 
into a toy; but they were never once 
reproved for any innocent sport; they 
were governed solely by an appeal to 
their affections. They were always 
respectful, and never failed to -render 
strict obedience to their father when he 
told them seriously what he wanted them 
to do. 8 

Mrs. Grant was well know to the members of the staff. While 
at City Point she would visit sick soldiers and make 

8 Porter, pp. 283-284. 


suggestions to the cook for delicacies for their comfort. 
She took all of her meals in the mess, kept up a 
pleasant run of conversation at the table, and added 
greatly to the cheerfulness of the headquarters. 

In the afternoon of October 16, 18 64, a steamer arrived 
from Washington with the Secretary of War, Mr. Stanton, 
the Secretary of the Treasury, , Mr. Fessenden and many 
other friends. They came to the headquarters and were 
warmly received by Grant, whom they greatly praised. ^0 
They congratulated Grant for the progress of the campaign. 
Stanton wanted to see the war close up and was given a 
tour of the front lines. After two days the party returned 
to Washington. 

Throughout the Fall of 1864, the stream of visitors towards 
City Point continued. Grant was by this time a well known 
celebrity throughout the North and attracted considerable 
attention whenever he left the camp. During one visit to 
New York in November 1864, he was mobbed by a group of well 
wishers. "^ 

9 Ibid. , p. 304. 
10 Ibid_. , p. 304. 
1:L Ibid. , pp. 325-327. 


During Christmas 18 64, Mrs. Grant and the family arrived 
at City Point to spend the holidays together. During 
this time Frederick almost joined the army. According 
to Porter: 

Fred crossed the Mississippi with 
his father on the gunboat PixLce. Early 
in the morning the general went ashore 
to direct the movement of the troops, 
leaving the boy coiled up on the forward 
deck fast asleep. Whenhe woke up the 
youngster insisted on following his 
father, but was told by a staff -of f icer 
to stay where he was and keep out of 
danger; but he happened just then to see 
some troops chasing a rabbit, and jumped 
ashore and joined in the fun. Thinking 
the men were a pretty jolly set of fel- 
lows, he followed along with the regiment 
in its march to the front, thinking he 
would meet his father somewhere on the 
road. The troops soon encountered the 
enemy, and Fred found himself suddenly 
participating in the battle of Port Gibson. 
That night he recognized a mounted orderly 
belonging to headquarters, and hailed him. 
The orderly gave him a blanket, and he 
rolled himself up in it and managed to get 
several hours' sleep. About midnight his 
father came across him, and his surprise 
may be imagined when he discovered that 
the boy had left the boat a,nd turned 
amateur soldier. The general had crossed 
the river in true light-marching order, 
for he had no encumbrances but an overcoat 
and a toothbrush. A couple of horses were 
soon captured. The general took one and 
gave the other to Fred. They were ungainly, 
ragged-hipped nags , and the general was 


greatly amused at seeing the figure the 
boy cut when mounted on his raw-boned 
war-charger. At the battle of Black 
River Bridge, Fred saw Lawler's brigade 
making its famous charge which broke the 
enemy's line, and rode forward and joined 
in the pursuit of the foe; but he had not 
gone far when a musket-ball struck him 
on the left thigh. A staff-officer rode 
up to him, and asked him how badly he was 
hurt; and Fred, not being an expert in 
gunshot wounds, said he rather thought his 
leg was cut in two. 'Can you work your 
toes?' asked the officer. The boy tried, 
and said he could. 'Then,' cried the 
officer, 'you're all right'; and taking 
him to a surgeon, it was found that the 
ball had only clipped out a little piece 
of flesh, so that he was not damaged 
enough to have to join the ranks of the 
disabled. 12 

If this was not enough excitement, Fred decided that he must 
go duck shooting and received permission from his father. 

As sporting-guns are not found among 
army supplies, Fred had to content himself 
with an infantry rifled musket. The 
general's colored servant, Bill, accompanied 
the boy. Bill was not much of a' shot himself. 
He usually shot as many a man votes, with his 
eyes shut.. But he was a good hand to take 
the place of the armor-bearer of the ancients, 
and carry the weapons. Taking a boat, they 
paddled down the river in search of game. 
They had not gone far when they were brought 
to by a naval pickets who had been posted on 
the river-bank by the commander of one of the 

12 Ibid.; pp. 363-364. 


vessels. A picket-boat was sent after 
them, and they were promptly arrested 
as rebel spies, and taken aboard a 
gunboat. The declaration by the white 
prisoner, who, it was supposed, was 
plotting death and destruction to the 
Union, that he was the son of the 
general-in-chief , was at first deemed 
too absured to be entertained by sail- 
ors, and fit only to be told to the 
marines; but after a time Fred 
succeeded to convincing the officers 
as to his identity, and was allowed 
to return to headquarters. When he 
arrived he wore a rueful expression 
of countenance at the thought of the 
ingratitude of republics to their 
"veterans." His father was greatly 
amused by the account of his adventure, 
teased him good-naturedly, and told him 
how fortunate it was that he had not 
been hanged at the yard-arm as an 
enemy of the republic, and his body 
consigned to the waters of the Potomac. 3 

Among the many visitors Grant had at City Point were a 
number of inventors who had some novel ideas as to how to 
end the war. Some of the more rational suggestions are 
described by Porter. 

A proposition from an /engineer was 
received one day, accompanied by elaborate 
drawings and calculations, which had evi- 
dently involved intense labor on the part 
of the author. His plan was to build a 
masonry wall around Richmond, of an ele- 
vation higher than the tallest houses, 

13 Ibid., pp. 365-366. 


then to fill the inclosure with water 
pumped from the James River , and drown 
out the garrison and people like rats 
in a cage. The exact number of pumps 
required and their capacity had been 
figured out to a nicety. Another 
inventive genius, whose mind seemed 
to run in the direction of the science 
of chemistry and the practice of ster- 
nutation, sent in a chemical formula 
for making an all-powerful snuff. In 
his communication he assured the com- 
manding general that after a series of 
experiments he had made with it on 
people and animals, he was sure that 
if shells were filled with it an explod- 
ed within the enemy's lines, the troops 
would be siezed with such violent fits 
of sneezing that they would soon become 
physically exhausted with the effort, 
and the Union army could walk over at 
its leisure and pick them up as prison- 
ers without itself losing a man. A 
certain officer had figured out from 
statistics that the James River froze 
over about once in seven years, and 
that this was the seventh year, and 
advised that troops be massed in such a 
position that when the upper part of the 
James changed from a liquid to a solid, 
columns could be rushed across it on the 
ice to position in rear of the enemy's 
lines, and Richmond would be at our 
mercy. 14 

As far as it is known, Grant did not • implement any of the above 

14 Ibid., p. 372. 


On the morning of January 31, 1865, General Grant received 
a letter from the Petersburg front signed by Confederates 
Alexander H. Stephens, J. A. Campbell and R.M.T. Hunter, 
asking permission to come through the lines. Permission 
was granted, and Babcock was sent to meet them and escort 
them to City Point. Stephens was the Vice-President of 
the Confederacy, Campbell was Assistant Secretary for Jtfar, 
and Hunter, President Pro Tempore of the Confederate Senate. 
Grant treated his visitors with every possible courtesy, but 
refused to be drawn into any political discussions with 
them. The commissioners twice tried to discuss the prop- 
er conditions for a proposed peace with Grant, but both 
times he refused to discuss the matter. ^ 

On February 2, 18 65 , the Commissioners were sent down the 
James River for a meeting with Lincoln which produced no 
results. After stopping at City Point again and discussing 
the exchange of prisoners with General Grant, the Commis- 
sioners returned to Richmond. 

Mrs. Grant, who was at City Point at this time, did talk 
to the Confederates about her brother, who was being held 'a 

15 Ibid. , p. 383 


I had quite an interview with the 
commissioners, telling them they held a 
brother of mine as a prisoner and that 
he was a thorough rebel if there ever 
was one. I knew this to be so as I had 
had many a battle royal with him on 
this subject. These gentlemen asked if 
General Grant could not exchange him. 
"Why, of course not." I explained, "my 
brother is not a soldier." He was on a 
visit to a friend in Louisiana when he 
was captured. I had already approached 
General Grant on the subject, and he 
had asked me if I thought it would be 
just for him to give a war prisoner in 
exchange for my brother, when we had so 
many brave men languishing in prison 
who had fought for the Union. It was 
hard, but I knew he was right. He con- 
soled me by saying, "It will not hurt 
John to have a good, wholesome lesson, 
and I hope and trust the war will soon 
be over, and then John will come home 
with the crowd, and I will do all I can 
for him then." So dear brother did not 
get back until the general exchange of 
prisoners took place at the close of 
the war . *■ » 

General Grant did intervene to help another relative of his, 
but had no success. 

There was another war .prisoner, 
young Hewitt, a cousin of- the General, 
who was confined for months at Johnson's 
Island in Lake Erie. His mother and 
family, who were living in Paris for 
security, often wrote to General Grant, 
making earnest appeals for his release. 


Mrs. Grant, p. 138. 


Of course, the General could only 
follow the routine and wait until 
it should be Mr. Hewitt's turn to 
be exchanged. So when this young 
man arrived at the depot where the 
prisoners were exchanged, General 
Grant telegraphed: "When Mr. 
Hewitt's exchange is accomplished, 
have him report to my headquarters." 
The telegram was read to Mr. Hewitt, 
who, with evident disappointment 
repaired to the Commanding General. 
The General greeted him kindly and 
said: "I have some letters here 
from your mother," and, handing him 
the package, continued, "If you wish 
to avail yourself of this opportunity, 
I will be most happy to give you safe 
conduct, and if you need money, that 
also. You must read these letters 
and decide." The young soldier read 
the letters and sat thinking, Then he 
arose, thanked the General, and said: 
"For me to accept this now, at the 
very gates of Richmond, would savor of 
desertion. The cause, our cause, needs 
every man at his post, and I must go 
on to Richmond." The General said: "I 
can't but admire your decision, but I 
think it most unwise." The young 
gentleman proceeded to Richmond , and 
about a fortnight afterwards we heard 
of his death. 1/ 

Alexander Stephens had worn a large greatcoat during his 
trip to City Point and this became the object of some humor 
at his expense. When Lincoln visited City Point later he 
said to Grant: 

17 Ibid., p. 139. 


"Did you see Stephens's great- 
coat?" "Oh, yes," answered the general. 
"Well," continued Mr. Lincoln, "soon 
after we assembled on the steamer at 
Hampton Roads, the cabin began to get 
pretty warm, and Stephens stood up and 
pulled off his big coat. He peeled 
it off just about as you would husk an 
ear of corn. I couldn't help thinking, 
as I looked first at the coat and then 
at the man, 'Well, that's the biggest 
shuck and the littlest nubbin I ever 
did see. '"18 

This story later became one of General Grant's favorites, 
and he never tired of telling it. 

In late February, Grant acquired a new addition to his 
staff -Captain, Robert Todd Lincoln, the President's 
eldest son. Robert Lincoln had graduated from Harvard 
in 1864, and asked his father's permission to join the army. 
Lincoln reluctantly agreed and mentioned the matter to Grant 
Grant told Lincoln that if his son could join his staff 
he would see that he saw some active duty in the field. 
Thus, with honor satisfied and the safety of Robert Lincoln 
protected, Grant acquired a new captain and assistant 
adjutant-general on his staff on February 23, 1865.19 

18 Ibid ., p. 385. 
19 Ibid., p. 388. 


Peace proposals were still discussed at City Point. 
Rumors of peace and theories on how to end the war abounded 
Mrs. Grant even volunteered to go on her own mission of 

Late one afternoon, about four o'clock, 
not long before the last move toward Rich- 
mond, I entered from my bedroom, General 
Grant's office, where I found General Grant s 
in conversation with General Ord. General 
Grant said to me: "See here. Mrs. Grant, 
what do you think of this? Ord has been 
across the lines on a flag of truce and 
brings a suggestion that terms of peace may 
be reached through you, and a suggestion of 
an interchange of social visits between you 
and Mrs. Longstreet and others when the 
subject of peace may be discussed, and you 
ladies may become the mediums of peace." 
At once, I exclaimed: "Oh! How enchanting, 
how thrilling I Oh, Ulys, I may go, may I 
not?" He only smiled at my enthusiasm and 
said: "No, I think not." I then approached 
him, saying, "Yes, I must. Do say yes. I 
so much wish to go. Do let me go." But he 
still said: "No, that would never do." 
Besides, he did not feel sure that he could 
trust me; with the desire I always had shown 
for having a voice in great affairs, he was 
afraid I might urge some policy that the 
President would not sanction. I replied to 
this: "Oh, nonsense. Do not talk so, but 
let me go. I should be so~ enchanted to have 
a voice in this great matter. I must go. 
I will. Do say I may go." But General 
Grant grew very earnest now and said: "No, 


you must not. It is simply absurd. 
The men have fought this war and the 
men will finish it. "20 

With peace efforts at an end, the war took its final 

Mrs. Grant did ask her husband to invite Lincoln to visit 
City Point again. Grant believed Lincoln needed no invita- 
tion, but at his wife's prodding he sent a telegram invit- 
ing the President to visit the front. 

Grant was now nearing the pinnacle of his military career. 
He was on the verge of victory at Petersburg, and the eyes 
of the nation were on him. His fame and stature were 
enormous. Congressman E. B. Washburne of Illinois presen- 
ed Grant with a gold medal voted him by the Congress. After 
the award ceremony, which was held at City Point in the 
main cabin of the steamer that had brought Washburne to 
City Point, Mrs. Grant improvised a dance for the officers 
and ladies present. All present had/a wonderful time. 22 

20 Mrs. Grant, pp. 140-141. 
21 Ibid. , pp. 141-142. 
22 Ibid., pp. 393-394. 


The next morning while Washburne was shaving a young woman 
burst into his cabin, fell at his feet, and pleaded with 
him to save her husband, who was scheduled for execution. 
After calming down the woman, Washburne managed to convince 
her that he was not General Grant. Washburne showed her 
to Grant's cabin where she repeated her performance. 
Grant yielded and another soldier was saved from execu- 
tion. 23 

Lincoln arrived at City Point on the evening of March 24, 
1865. He had intended to come alone/ but at the last 
minute Mrs. Lincoln decided to join him. The Lincolns 
were to remain at City Point for the next two weeks and 
live on the R^ivzn. Qulzzyi which was anchored in the James 
River . 

On the morning of March 25, 18 65, Grant boarded the RXv/e^ 
Qu.zzn and greeted Lincoln. Early that morning, Lee directed 

General J. B. Gordon to attack Fort Steadman in an attempt 


to break the Union Line. The attack, after some initial 
success, failed with a great number of casualties. Grant 

23 Ibid., pp. 394-395. 

2 6 7 

"A. .- 

• I .4 if 


asked the President to accompany him to the front to view 
the scene of the attack. The ground was still strewn with 
the dead and wounded of both sides and Lincoln saw the 
results of combat, close up, for the first time. The 
trip deeply affected the President. 

Frank Rauscher, who was a musician with the 114th Regiment/ 
Pennsylvania Volunteers ^recorded the following personal 
observation about Lincoln the next morning: 

The next morning we had the pleasure 
of seeing President Abraham Lincoln for 
the first, and, unfortunately, it was 
the last time. While there (at City 
Point) he made his temporary home on 
board the River Queen, along side the 
flagship of Admiral Porter. On that 
morning I strolled out to one of the 
abandoned forts, having just received the 
morning paper and while resting myself on 
one of the parapets two men came in the 
fort — one was Admiral Porter, the other 
President Lincoln. They halted in front 
of the spot I was sitting. The Admiral, 
from the high position of the fort, could 
overlook a broad expanse of our lines of 
works. He pointed out to the President 
the positions of the two lines and dis- 
cussed the hardships and dangers encountered 
while erecting them in the face of the enemy 
guns and during the rigors of the severe 
winter he also recounted the suffering and 
deprivation incident to the long siege. 
President Lincoln was greatly moved, and 


his feeling were apparent in his rough- 
hewn featured. As they joined arms and 
returning from the fort this remark the 
President made, "The country can never 
repay these men for what they have suf- 
fered and endured. * 

Lincoln and Grant discussed the progress of the war during 
the day and swapped stories around the camp fire at night. 
Both men seemed to enjoy the other's company. Lincoln, 
got along well with the army officers at City Point, but his 
wife was in a bad temper. During a review of the Army of 
the James, Mrs. Lincoln lost her temper and began to snap 
at the officers and their wives. Both Mrs. Grant and 
Porter agree that Mrs. Lincoln was tired from the trip 
and not in her best mood. 

The Siege of Petersburg was nearing a climax and Grant 
invited both Sheridan and Sherman to City Point for a final 
conference. Sherman arrived on March 27, 1865 and 
immediately began to fill Grant in with the details of his 
march across Georgia. . x 

Speculation was rife that Sherman had been called to City 
Point to replace Meade as Commander-in-Chief of the Army 

24 Rauscher, p. 226. 


of the Potomac. In the following letter written on 
March 28, 1865, J. R. Hamilton describes the atmosphere 
at City Point during these critical days. 

City Point 
March 28/65 
8. A.M. 

Dear Swinton: 

The army moves this morning. Head-quarters are being 
abandoned — for the time at least — by tonight General Grant 
will have moved off with his staff for the field. 

Sherman arrived here last night, from Newbern with Admiral 
Porter; and I heared it hinted among the officers, who 
should know, that he is to supersede Meade. 

We had quite a gay batch last night holding their consulta- 
tion of war. The President, Grant, Sherman and Sheridan 
and Porter. The most ceaseless activity is everywhere in 
the quarter-master and ordnance departments. A million 
cartridges in addition were sent out yesterday, and 
Sheridans 1 men were being remounted all yesterday and dur- 
ing the whole night, with fresh horses that come pouring 
in by the boat-load from Washington. There is no doubt 
that, this morning, the curtain rises upon the last act of 
this great drama. What Grant proposes to 'do I don't know, 
but it seems to me, as I wrote you once before at some 
length, that his object is to throw a powerful army between 
Richmond and the rebel forces opposed'- to Sherman — ( now 
Schof ield or Slocum, which latter Ir believe takes rank) so 
that Johnston, who it is supposed now commands the forces 
to Richmond, must either come out of the trenches and 
fight at a disadvantage, or stay where he is and see him- 
self hopelessly cut off by the Southside and Danville 
Roads coming into our immediate protection. 


The army leaves with 12 days rations; so that allowing only 
15 miles for a day's march, they go provided for a tramp of 
180 miles. 

The next ten or twelve days may prove the most eventful and 
decisive ones of the way. Everyone mounts his horse or 
shoulders his musket as if he feels it so, and great 
enthusiasm is forming wherever I go, among the officer and 

9:30 A.M. 

Although it is generally believed that Lee has gone to join 
his armies South, his latest dispatch to the Secretary of 
War, which I saw, would seem to show that he is still here — 
commanding this front. 

General Collip has just told me that he does not credit the 
superseding of Meade by Sheridan; but it is very significant 
that in the Council of War held last night Meade was not 
present. 25 

Grant, Sherman and Lincoln met on the R<Lvnti Queen to discuss 

It began by his explaining to the 
President the military situation and 
prospects, saying that the crisis of the 
war was now at hand, as he expected to 
move at once around the enemy's left and 
cut him off from the Carol inas, and that 
his only apprehension was that Lee might 
move out before him and evacuate Peters- 
burg and Richmond, but that if he did 
there would be a hot pursuit. Sherman 


Virginia Historical Society, J. R. Hamilton Letter. 


assured the President that in such a 
contingency his army, by acting on the 
defensive, could resist both Johnston 
and Lee till Grant could reach him, and 
that then the enemy would be caught in 
a vise and have his life promptly crush- 
ed out. Mr. Lincoln asked if would not 
be possible to end the matter without a 
pitched battle, with the attendant losses 
and suffering; but was informed that that 
was a matter not within the control of 
our commanders, and must rest necessarily 
with the enemy. Lincoln spoke about the 
course which he thought had better be 
pursued after the war, and expressed an 
inclination to lean toward a generous 
policy. In speaking about the Confederate 
political leaders, he intimated, though he 
did not say so in express terms, that it 
would relieve the situation if they should 
escape to some foreign country. Sherman 
related many interesting incidents which 
occurred in his campaign. Grant talked 
less than any one present. The President 
twice expressed some apprehension about 
Sherman being away from his army; but 
Sherman assured him that he had left mat- 
ters safe in Schofields hands, and that he 
would start back himself that day. 26 

That same day Sherman left City Point to return to his army 
in the field. 

By March 29, 18 65, Grant decided to leave City Point and 
move closer to the front. The siege was almost over and he 

26 Porter, pp. 323-324. 


was afraid Lee would steal away from him. Grant was 
determined to capture Lee and end the war . Lincoln and 
Grant parted company, and the President shook hands with 
Grant and each member of the staff. Porter described 
the moving scene in his book: 

Mr. Lincoln looked more serious than 
at any other time since he had visited head-, 
quarters. The lines in his face seemed deeper, 
and the rings under his eyes were of a darker 
hue. It was plain that the weight of respon- 
sibility was oppressing him. Could it have 
been a premonition that with the end of this 
last campaign would come the end of his life. 
Five minutes ' walk brought the party to the 
train. There the President gave the general 
and each member of the staff a cordial shake 
of the hand, and then stood near the rear 
end of the car while we mounted the platform. 
As the train was about to start we all 
raised our hats respectfully. The salute 
was returned by the President, and he said 
in a voice broken by an emotion he could ill 
conceal: "Good-by, gentlemen. God bless 
you all. Remember, your success is my 
success." The signal was given to start; 
the train moved off; Grant's last campaign 
had begun. 27 

Within a few days the war was over and- a few days later 
Lincoln was dead. 


Porter, pp. 425-426. 


Shortly before the final campaign began Grant sat on the 
front porch of his cabin on the ground of Appomattox Manor 
and posed for one last picture with his staff. 




Grant's Staff at City Point in March 1865. 
SOURCE: Petersburg National Battlefield , Petersburg, 
Virginia, File §17 Generals . 



I Primary Sources 
Manuscripts and Photographs 

Fairmount Park Commission, Philadelphia, Pa. 

Adam Badeau Letter to George H. Stuart, July 21, 1865. 

Adam Badeau Letter to Russel Thayer, February 12, 1885. 

Adam Badeau details the construction and subse- 
quent history of Grant's Cabin in both of these 
letters. The first is addressed to George H. 
Stuart of Philadelphia, and the second is 
addressed to Russel Thayer of the Fairmount Park 

S. Einlen Meigs Letter to Commissioners of Fairmount 
Park, September 11, 1916. 

George H. Stuart Letter to James McManes, May 20, 1898. 

George H. Stuart was the son of the man to whom 
Grant gave the cabin in 1865, and in this letter 
he asked the President of the Fairmount Park 
Commission to take steps to protect and preserve 
the cabin, and cited the historical importance 
of the structure. 

Library of Congress, Archives. 

Civil War Photographs 

The collection of Civil War photographs in the 
possession of the Library of Congress is limited 
and was culled thoroughly for evidence for this 
report. The most interesting photographs found » 
were three pictures of General Rufus Ingalls and 
other people sitting on the front porch of 
Appomattox Manor just after the end of the siege. 


Petersburg National Battlefield Park, Archives, Virginia. 

City Point Railroad Map. 

The best map of City Point during the siege 
was made by the Chief Engineer of the Military 
Railroad in Virginia in 1865. All of the rail- 
roads and many of the structures used by Grant 
at City Point are detailed. The park has four 
copies of this map and the original is located 
in the National Archives . 

Civil War Diseases. > 

This is a short unpublished study which makes 
a comparison of major diseases of the Civil 
War with those of the First World War. 

Mrs. Elise Eppes Cutchins Transcript. 

This is a transcript of the conversation between 
Historian Harry Butowsky and Mrs. Elise Eppes 
Cutchins made in her home in Franklin, Virginia 
on November 30, 1977. Mrs. Cutchins is the grand- 
daughter of Dr. Richard Eppes, and she related the 
family tradition concerning Appomattox Manor. The 
tapes should also be consulted. 

Development of the General Staff of the Army. 

This is a short unpublished study of the above 
subject with emphasis on the Civil War period. 

Philadelphia Inquirer article "Relics of the War-Grant's 

This article was originally -published in the 
Philadelphia Inquirer on August 4, 1865, when 
the cabin was placed in Fairmount Park. It 
gives the background and history of the cabin 
to that point in time. 

Timothy E. Wilcox Statement. 

Mr. Wilcox was a civil war veteran who visited 
City Point during the Summer and Fall of 1865, 


and in 1918 he described his memories of the 
camp as it existed immediately after the end 
of the war. 

Pennsylvania Historical Society, Archives, Philadelphia, Pa 

George Gordon Meade Maps . 

The entire collection of the personal maps of 
General Meade are located here. They provide . 
little additional information on the camp site 
because of their lack of detail. One interest- 
ing specimen shows the location of Grant's 
headquarters staff at City Point in Meade's 

Virginia Historical Society, Archives, Richmond, Va. 

Appomattox Manor-City Point Map. 

In 1856, Dr. Richard Eppes had his property 
surveyed and the boundaries and buildings 
recorded in the above map. It is interest- 
ing because it shows what the area looked 
like before the Civil War. 

Stuart Burrus Letter to Dr. Richard Eppes, February 1, 

In this letter from the Bureau of Refugees, 
Freedmen and Abandoned Lands writer on 
February 1, 1866, Dr. Richard Eppes had his 
land at City Point officially returned to 

Charles Comer Letter to Dr. Richard Eppes, October 24, 

This letter was written on October 2, 1865, and 
given Dr. Richard Eppes the names and rents of 
the people who were living on his property at 
that time. 

Richard Eppes Diary, 1849-1896. 


Dr. Richard Eppes kept a very detailed record 
of his farming operations and personal life 
during the above years. There was no facet 
of his farm operation that was not recorded 
in the journal. The only break in the record 
is from 1862 to 18 65, when Dr. Eppes was away 
from home and in the service of the Confederate 
Army as a contract surgeon. Dr. Eppes recorded 
many detailed descriptions of his property after 
his return to City Point in 18 65. There is a - 
great deal of information in this source that 
could be used to write the story of a larger > 
Virginia Plantation and its operation before the 

Richard Eppes Discharge Papers, 1862. 

Dr. Eppes was discharged twice from the Confed- 
erate Army in 1862, and the above two papers tell 
the story. 

Richard Eppes Letter to Major John Gibon, November 6, 

Dr. Eppes wrote this letter to the local mili- 
tary commander of City Point on November 6, 
1865, and requested the return of his property. 
There is no record of a response. 

Richard Eppes Letter to J. H. Pierpont, June 24, 1865 

Dr. Eppes wrote this letter to the -Governor of 
Virginia on June 2, 1865, seeking his help in 
the return of his property at City Point. The 
letter contains an interesting-,, discussion of 
his motives for supporting the rebellion in 
1861, as well as a short discussion of his Civil 
War service history 

Eppes Family Photographs. 

All of these photographs date from the post- 
civil war period and show the condition of the 
house and lands during that time. 


Repair Receipts for Appomattox Manor in 1866. 

When Dr. Eppes finally reacquired his property, 
he discovered that much damage had been done 
to the house during the war and repairs had to 
be made. He borrowed the money from his Phila- 
delphia relatives and went to work repairing 
the damage. The receipts are all here. 

Special Order No. 68, October 23, 1865. 

This order was issued by the Bureau of Refugees, 
Freedmen and Abandoned Lands on October 3, 1865* 
and gave Dr. Eppes a qualified return of his 
property at City Point. 

Virginia State Library, Archives, Richmond. 

Eppes Family genealogical chart. 

The genealogical charts in the collection of 
the Virginia Historical Society are limited 
and incomplete. They cover mainly the late 
nineteenth century period. Mr. Prentice Price, 
who works at the library every day and is em- 
ployed by the family, had much more detailed and 
complete charts going back to the time of the 
early sixteenth century. His mailing address 
is the Virginia State Library. Most of the 
genalogical information in this report was 
obtained from the book by Mrs. Clark and the 
charts of Mr. Prentice Price. 

Eppes Family Coat of Arms. 

The Eppes family had its own coat of arms that 
it brought from England, and ah original copy 
is located here. 

U. S. Army Military History Institute Archives, Carlisle, Pa 

Mollus Collection of Civil War Photographs 


This is perhaps the finest collection of 
Civil War Photographs in the country. The 
photographs are all original prints of Civil 
War scenes, and many were copied for this 

Joseph Scroggs Papers. 

Joseph Scroggs was a Civil War soldier who was 
in and around City Point in May 1864, and he 
recorded his impressions in his journal. His 
observations are interesting but limited. 


Printed Materials 

Agassiz, George R. / ed., Meade's Headquarters , 1863-1865 / 
Letters of Colonel Theodore Lyman from the Wilderness to 
Appomattox , Boston: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1922. 

Contains useful information relating to the relation- 
ship between Grant and Meade during the last year of 
the war. Little direct information concerning City 

Annals of the War , Philadelphia: The Times Publishing Com- 
pany. 187 9. Recollections of the campaigns written by 
officers and men on both sides. 

Good background information for City Point but no 
direct information on City Point. 

Badeau, Adam, Military History of Ulysses S. Grant , New York 
D. Appleton and Company, 1881. 

Badeau was Grant's military secretary and aide through- 
out the Petersburg Campaign. This book is a primary 
source for City Point and contains a wealth of useful 
information concerning the camp. This source is a 
must for any detailed study of City Point. 

Bowen, James L. , History of the 37th Regiment Massachusetts 
Volunteers in the Civil War 1861-1865 , New York: Clark W. 
Bryan and Company, 1884. 

Volume IV provides good source material for the taking 
of City Point. 

Cadwallader, Sylvanus, Three Years witn Grant , New York: 
Alfred A. Knopf, 1955. 

Cadwallader was a Chicago newspaperman with Grant from 
1863 to the end of the war. His account provides good 
personal information concerning many aspects of daily 
life at City Point. 


Chamberlain, Joshua L. , The Passing of the Armies , New York: 
G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1915. 

Chamberlain's account was written many years after the 
war, and the passing of years had dimmed his memory. 
His book contains a good description of Grant's pursuit 
of Lee in April 1865, and the final surrender but con- 
tains little of importance on City Point. 

Chamberlain, Joshua L. , Reminiscences of Petersburg and 
Appomattox , 1903. 

Little of interest concerning City Point. ( 

Chamberlain, Thomas, History of the 150th Regiment of Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers, Second Regiment, Bucktail Brigade , Phila- 
delphia: J. B. Lippincott and Company, 1895. 

A good source for the military campaigns of 1864-1865, 
but contains little on City Point. 

Civil War Papers , Read before the Commandery of the State of 
Massachusetts of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of 
the United States, Boston: Privately Printed, 1950. 

Coffin, Charles Carleton, Four Years of Fighting , Boston: 
Tincknor and Fields, 1866. 

Brief description of Grant, Lincoln, Meade and Sheridan 
at City Point on March 28, 18 65. 

Clark, Charles M. , History of the 39th Regiment Illinois 
Volunteers Infantry 1861-1865 , Chicago: Published under the 
auspices of the veteran association of the regiment, 188 9. 

Useful description of trains running from City Point 
to the front, and Confederate attempts to disable them. 

Cole, Jacob H. , Under Five Commanders , Patterson: News Print- 
ing Company, 1906. 

Personal account of life in the Army of the Potomac, writ- 
ten years after the war. Little on City Point. 

Copp, Elbridge J., Reminiscences of the war of the rebellion , 
1861-1865, Nashua, N. H. : Privately Published, 1911. 


Contains a good picture of the railroad at City Point. 

Coppee f Henry, Grant and His Campaign , New York: Charles B. 
Richardson and Company, 1866. 

Contains good background material on the members of 
Grant's Staff at City Point. 

Cramer, Jesse Grant, Letters of Ulysses S. Grant to his 
Father and Youngest Sister , New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 

Adds little to knowledge of City Point. ' 

Dana, Charles A., Recollections of the Civil War , New York: 
D. Appleton and Company, 1898. 

Good on general background material on Petersburg 
campaign but little on City Point. 

Derby, W. P., Bearing Arms in the 27th Massachusetts Regiment 
of Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War, 1861-1865 , Boston: 
Wright and Potter, 1883. 

De Trobriand, Regis, Four Years with the Army of the Potomac , 
Boston: Ticknor and Company, 1889. 

De Trobriand was a French Officer who served with the 
Army of the Potomac. He passed through City Point in 
1864 and recorded his impressions in his book. 

Dodge, Grenville Mellen, Personal Recollections of A. Lincoln , 
U. S. Grant and T. T. Sherman, Council Bluff, la.: The 
Monarch Printing Company, 1910. 

Good description of the command structure of the army. 

Elwood, John Williams, Story of the Old Ringgold Cavalry . 
Privately Published, 1914. 

Concerns the 22nd Pennsylvania Cavalry with emphasis 

on its 1864 campaign in Virginia. Little on City Point. 

Gibbon, John, Personal Recollections of the Civil War , New 
York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1929. 


Good discussion of the Congressional Gold Medal that 
was presented to Grant at City Point on March 11, 1865. 

Gross, Warren Lee, Recollections of a Private — A Story of 
The Army of the Potomac , New York: Thomas Crowell and 
Company, 1890. 

A good first hand account of life in the trenches 
before Petersburg. 

History of the 37th Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteers in 
the Civil War of 1861-1865 , New York: Clark W. Bryan and 
Company, 1884. 

Little detail concerning City Point. The regiment 
landed there and went straight to the fight front. 

Livermore, Thomas H. , History of the Eighteenth New Hampshire 
Volunteers 1861-1865 , Boston: Fort Hill Press, 1904. 

This regiment was stationed at City Point in late 18 64 
and was used to construct many of the buildings used 
as winter quarters. The book contains a good descrip- 
tion of the construction methods used and winter life 
at the camp. 

Grant, Julia Dent, The Personal Memoirs of Julia Dent Grant , 
ed., John Y. Simon, New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1975. 

Mrs. Grant spent many months with the general at City 
Point and left a good description of the personal side 
to Grant's life at the camp. 

Grant, Ulysses S., Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant , 2 volumes, 
New York: Charles L. Webster & Company, 1886. 

Grant's Memoirs are excellent source material for the 
Civil War. Unfortunately, Grant was hurried when he 
came to write the period covered by the Siege of 
Petersburg. There is no physical description of the < 
camp or any discussion of camp life to be found in the 
book. Grant covered the war and the progress of the 
siege and most of this material can be found in the 
Official Records. 


Houghton, Edwin B., The Campaigns of the Seventeenth Maine , 
Portland: Short and Loring, 1886. 

Good material concerning life in the Army of the Potomac 
during the last part of the war. Weak on City Point. 

Houston, Henry Clarence. T he Thirty-second Maine Regiment 
of Infantry Volunteers , Portland: Press of Southworth 
Brothers, 1903. 

A discussion of the 1861-1865 campaign in Virginia. 
Little on City Point. 

Humphreys, Andrew Atkinson, The Virginia Campaign of 1864 
and 1865 , New York: C. Scribner's Sons, 1883. 

A good survey of the military operations in the last 
year of the war. Includes a map of the railroad from 
City Point to the front. 

Jones, Major, Four Years in the Army of the Potomac , London: 
The Tyne Publishing Company, 1911. 

Brief description of Lincoln during his visits to City 

McCallum, D. C, Reports of Brevet Brigadier General D. C. 
McCallum and the Provost Marshal General, Part 1, Washington: 
Government Printing Office, 18 66. 

Excellent source material for the history and operation 
of the U. S. Military Railroad at City Point. Contains 
much useful primary information. 

Meade, George. The Life and Letters of George Gordon Meade , 
2 vol., New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1913. 

Useful source material concerning the relationship of 
Meade to Grant during the Siege of Petersburg. No 
direct evidence or description of City Point. 

Mulholland, St. Clair Augustin, The Story of the 116th Regi- 
ment, Pennsylvania Infantry, War of Succesion , 1862-1865. 
Philadelphia: F. McManus , Jr., & Co., 1899. 


Good description of the last year of the war in the 
East. Little on City Point. 

Page, Charles A., Letters of a War Correspondent , Boston: 
L. C. Page and Company, 1899. 

Good general description on Eastern Campaigns. Little 
direct information on City Point. 

Pick, George B., A Recruit Before Petersburg , Rhode Island 
Soldiers and Sailors Historical Society, No. 8, Second Series, 
Providence: N. B. Bangs Williams and Company, 1880. 

Brief description of City Point when Pick arrived there 
in the summer of 1864. 

Petersburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg , Papers of the 
Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, Boston: The 
Military Historical Society of Massachusetts, 1906. 

Little material on City Point. 

Porter, Horace, Campaigning with Grant , Bloomington: Indiana 
University Press, 1961 

Porter's book gives us the best source material we have 
for City Point. Porter was Grant's aide and lived at 
City Point throughout the Siege of Petersburg, and kept 
a detailed journal of life at the camp. He used this 
journal in writing his book. Porter was an educated 
man and he did not miss much of what was happening at 
City Point. 

Powell, William H., The Fifth Army Corps , New York: G. P. 
Putnam's Sons, 1896. 


Good source for the Siege of Petersburg but contains 
little on City Point. 

Rauscher, Frank, Music on the march, 1862-65, with the Army 
of the Potomac . 114th regt. P. V., Collis' Zouaves , Phila- 
delphia: Press of W. F. Fe., & Co., 1892. 


Good source for City Point, 114th regiment of Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers served as the Headquarters Regiment 
for City Point during 1864-1865, and provided music 
for official functions. Shows how City Point looked 
from the soldier's point of view. 

Raup, Hallock F. , ed., Letters from a Pennsylvania Chaplin at 
the Siege of Petersburg , 1865, London: The Eden Press. 1961. 

Good source for the Siege of Petersburg. Little on 
City Point. 

Revised Regulations for the Army of the United States 1861 , 
Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1861. 

Good source for organization of army prior to the Civil 
War. Much technical information concerning army rules 
and regulations. 

Rhodes, Elisha, The Second Rhode Island Volunteers at the 
Siege of Petersburg, Virginia, War of the Rebellion, Seventh 
Series, No. 10, Providence: Rhode Island Soldiers and 
Sailors Historical Society, 1915. 

Good for the Siege of Petersburg. Little on City Point. 

Robertson, James I. ed., The Civil War Letters of General 
Robert McAllister, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 
T9T5 - : 

Close view of life of the common soldier in the 
trenches before Petersburg. 

David S. Spears, ed. , Inside Lincoln's Army: The Diary of 
Marsena Rudolph Patrick, Provost Marshal General, Army of the 
Potomac , New York: T. Yoseloff, 1964.' 

Patrick was the City Point for much of the time during 
the Siege of Petersburg. He kept a detailed diary full 
of observations of life and events at the camp. Unfortu- 
nately, this edition by Spears has been heavily edited 
thus reducing its usefullness. Patricks original diary 
should be used. 


Swinton, William, Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac , New 
York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1882. 

Detailed account of the siege and an excellent" map of 
the Petersburg area. Not much on City Point. 

Todd, Williams, The Seventy-ninth Highlanders, New York volun- 
teers in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865 . Albany: Press 
of Brandow, Barton & Co., 1886. 

Good source for the campaigns in Virginia. 

Townsend, George Alfred, Rustics in Rebellion: A Yankee 
Reporter on the Road to Richmond, 18 64-18 65 , Chapel Hill: 
University of North Carolina Press, 1950. 

Brief description of City Point. 

Tyler, Mason Whiting, Recollections of the Civil War , New 
York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1912. 

Good description of the war in Virginia. 

War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and the 
Confederate Armies , Series 1, volumes, XXXVI, XL, XLII, XLVI, 
and Series III, Vol. IV, Washington, Government Printing 
office, 1880-1901. 

There is little material in the Official Records that 
describes the operation of history of events at City 
Point. Much of what is gained must be taken from 
dispatches and orders sent to other commands. Only 
through a thorough reading of the telegrams and 
letters sent to and from City Point can we see the 
length and extent of control Grant exercised over 
other Union armies. 


Secondary Sources 

Abbott, John S., The History of the Civil War in America , 
Springfield, Mass.: Gurdon Bill, 1866. 

Abdill, George, Civil War Railroads , Seattle: Superior 
Publishing Company, 1961. 

This is an excellent photographic history of Civil 
War Railroads with a good description of railroad 
equipment, construction and operation. The book 
contains many photos of City Point and the operations 
of the United States Military Railroads there. 

Allison, Edna Finney, Eppes, Epps, Epes Genealogy and History , 
Privately Published, 1971. 

This book is a detailed account of the Eppes family in 
Texas during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. 
It contains only a limited amount of information on 
the early history of the Eppes family in England and 
Virginia. It also contains a drawing of Appomattox 
Manor during the Civil War. 

Amman, William Frayne, Personnel of the Civil War , 2 vol., 
New York: Thomas Yoseloff , 1961. 

Andrews, Matthew Page, Virginia — The Old Dominion , Richmond: 
The Dietz Press, 1949. 

Bigelow, John, The Principles of Strategy , New York, Greewood 
Press, 1968. 

This book contains a good. description of the Petersburg 
Campaign. A 

Billings, John D., Hardtack and Coffee , Chicago, R. R. , 
Donnelley & Co., 1960. 

The classic description of food and supplies that were 
issued to the Union Army throughout the war. 

Botkin, B. A. ed., A Civil War Treasury of Tales and Folklore , 
New York: Random House, 1960. 


Contains some interesting stories of life in the 
trenches before Petersburg. 

Burgess , Mary Curtis, A True Story , Lincoln, Nebraska, 1907. 

Contains a record of the author's personal experiences 
at City Point during the Siege of Petersburg. 

Carpenter, John A., Ulysses S. Grant , New York: Twayne 
Publishers, Inc., 1970. 

Catton, Bruce, America Goes to War , Middletown, Connecticut: 
Wesleyan University Press, 1958. , 

Catton, Bruce, Grant Takes Command , Boston: Little Brown & 
Co., 1969. 

Catton, Bruce, This Hallowed Ground , New York, Doubleday & 
Company, Inc., 1956. 

Clark, Eva Turner, Francis Epps, His Ancestors and Descendants , 
New York: Richard R. Smith, 1942. 

Mrs. Clark's book is currently the best source of infor- 
mation available concerning the Eppes family. It is a 
detailed and thoroughly researched work that must be read 
by anyone seeking a better understanding of the Eppes 
family. The family has commissioned Mr. Prentice Price 
of the Virginia State Library to update the genealogy of 
the Eppes family and to correct the errors found in Mrs. 
Clark's book. At the present time Mr. Price has not yet 
completed this work. 

Gonger, Al. L. , The Rise of U. S. Grant , New York: The Cen- 
tury Company, 1931. 

Copeland, Catherine, Bravest Surrender , Richmond: Whittet & 
Shepperson, 1961. 

Crozier, Emmet, Yankee Reporters 1861-1865 , New York: Oxford 
University Press, 1956. 

Dana, Charles A. and Wilson, J. H., The Life of Ulysses S. 
Grant, Chicago: Charles Bill, 1868. 


Good description of the decision making process involved 
in Sherman's march to the sea. 

Donald , David ed . , Divided We Fought A Pictorial History of 
the War 1861-1865 , New York: The Macmillian Company, 1963. 

Contains many fine photos of City Point 

Earle, Edward Meade ed. , Makers of Modern Strategy , Princeton: 
Princeton University Press, 1944. 

Eisenschiml, Otto and Newman, Ralph ed., The Civil War — -The 
American Illiad , New York, Grosset & Dunlap, Inc. 1956. ' 

Freeman, Douglas Southall, R. E. Lee A Biography , vol. Ill, 
IV, New York: Charles Scribner * s Sons, 1935. 

Frost, Lawrence A., The Phil Sheridan Album , Seattle: Superior 
Publishing Co., 1968. 

Frost, Lawrence A., U. S. Grant Album, Seattle, Superior Pub- 
lishing Co., 1966. 

Fuller, Major General J. F. C, The Generalship of Ulysses S. 
Grant , Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1929. 

Gardner, Alexander, Gardner's, Photographic History of the 
Civil War , New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1959. 

A Guide to Prince George and Hopewell , Federal Works Agency, 

Harder, Kelsie B., Illustrated Dictionary of Place Names : 

United States and Canada , New York, Van Nostrand Reinhold & 

Co., 1976. 


Headly, J. T. , Grant and Sherman: Th~eir Campaign's and 
Generals , New York: E. B. Treat & Co., 1866. 

Good description of the Confederate Ironclad assault » 
on City Point in January 18 65. 

Johnson, Rossiter, Campfires and Battlefields , New York: 
Gallant Books, Inc., 1960. 


Contains a picture of General Rufus Ingalls on the 
front porch of Appomattox Manor. 

Lord, Francis A. , Lincoln's Railroad Man: Herman Haupt , Tea- 
neck, New Jersey: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1969. 

Lossing, Benson John, Pictorial History of the Civil War , 
Philadelphia: David McKay, Publisher, 1866. 

Lutz, Francis Earle, The Prince George-Hopewell Story , 
Richmond: William Byrd Press, Inc., 1957. 

An excellent well written source for the early history 
of Prince George County. 

Marshall-Cornwall, General Sir James Grant as Military 
Commander , New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1970. 

Contains a good discussion of the strategic factors 
involved in the selection of City Point. 

Maxwell, William Quentin, Lincoln's Fifth Wheel: The Politi- 
cal History of the United States Sanitary Commission , London : 
Logmans, Green & Co., 1956. 

Miller, Francis Travelyan, ed., The Photographic History of 
the Civil War , 10 vol., New York, Thomas Yoseloff, 1957. 

This is a classic photographic history of the Civil 
War and contains many fine photos of City Point and 
the Siege of Petersburg. 

Naisawald, L. Van Loan, Grape and Canister , - New York: Oxford 
University Press, 1960. 

Naisawald's book contains a fine description of the use 
of artillery during the Siege of -Petersburg. 

Newman, Ralph, and Long, E. B. , The Civil War: The Picture 
Chronicle , 2 vol., New York, Grosset & Dunlap, 1956. 

Plum, William R. , The Military Telegraph in the Civil War in 
the United States, Chicago: Jansen & McClurg & Co. 1882. 

Discusses the role of the telegraph at City Point 


Richardson, Albert D., A Personal History of Ulysses S. Grant , 
Hartford, Connecticut: American Publishing Co., 1868. 

Sales, Edith Ann, Historic Gardens of Virginia , Richmond, 
Virginia, 1930. 

Excellent discussion of post-Civil-War garden of Dr. 
Richard Eppes. 

Sandburg, Carl. Abraham Lincoln, The War Years , vol. IV, 
New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1939. pp. 13 5-62. . 

Sears, Stephen W.,ed., Civil War Art , New York: American 
Heritage Publishing Co. , 1971. 

Shannon, Fred Albert, The Organization and Administration of 
the Union Army , 1861-1865, Clevland : Arthur H. Clark & Co., 

Stille, Charles J. , History of the United States Sanitary 
Commission , Philadelphia: J. B. Lippencott & Co., 1866. 

Tenny, W. J. , The Military and Naval History of the Rebellion 
in the United States , New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1865. 

Wyatt, Edward A., Along Petersburg Streets, Richmond: The 
Dietz Printing Co., 1943. 

Contains a good bibliography of early Petersburg History. 

Wyatt, Edward A. and Scott, James, Petersburg's History — A 
History of Petersburg, Virginia , Richmond: The Dietz Publish- 
ing Company, 1960. 

Contains good background information concerning the 

Siege of Petersburg. 


Wyatt, Edward A., Plantation Houses Around Petersburg , 1955. 

Wallace, Lee A., History of Petersburg National Military 
Park, Unpublished Document, 1957. > 

Waller, Francis A. , History of the Second Army Corps , New 
York: Charles Scribner's & Sons, 1891. 


Wertenbaker, Thomas J. , Torchbearer of the Revolution: The 
Story of Bacon's Rebellion and its Leader , Princeton / New 
Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1940 . 

Weigley, Russel F. , Quartermaster General of the Union Army — 
A Biography of M. C. Meigs , New York: Columbia University 
Press, 1959. 

Contains a good discussion of the supply problems of 
City Point. 

Wilson, James Grant, General Grant , New York: D. Appleton & 
Co., 1897. 

Wilson, James Harrison, The Life of John A. Rawlins , New York: 
The Neale Publishing Co., 1916. 

Rawlins served on Grant's Staff during the Siege of 
Petersburg, and this account contains many of his 
personal letters written from City Point in 1861-1865. 

Winsow, Justin, ed., Narrative and Critical History of 
America, Boston, 1884. 



"Culpeper's Report on Virginia in 1683." The Virginia 
Magazine of History and Biography , January 1896, pp. 224. 

Hagerman, Edward, "From Jomini to Dennis Hart Mahan." Civil 
War History , September 1967, pp. 197-220. 

Hagerman' s essay contains a clear concise discussion of 
the evolution of military strategy in America until the 
time of the Civil War. This article is especially ( 
important for anyone who would understand the signifi- 
cance of City Point. 

Johnson, Sudwell H. , "Civil War Military History." Civil 
War History , June 1971, pp. 115-130. 

McPherson, Daniel G. , "Experiment at City Point." Military 
Medicine , March, 1963, pp. 242-244. 

This article contains a fine old print of City Point 
hospital and surrounding grounds in 18 65. 

Spear, Donald P., "The Sutler in the Union Army." Civil War 
History , June 1970, pp. 121-128. 

Stannard, G. W. , "Abstracts of Virginia Land Patents." The 
Virginia Magazine of History and Biography , March 1896. 

A wealth of information concerning the early years of 
the Eppes family in Virginia. 

Sylvester, Robert Bruce, "The U. S. Military Railroad and the 
Siege of Petersburg." Civil War History / September 1961, 
pp. 309-316. 

Sylvester tied the railroad story together in this short 


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After taking up the track of the Richmond and York 
River Railroad, and removing all the material of value 
(June 13, 1864), Mr. C. L. McAlpine, engineer of con- 
struction and repairs, was ordered to proceed to City 
Point with part of the Construction Corps and adequate 
material, in anticipation of an order to build the 
wharves at that place and reopen the City Point and 
Petersburg Railroad. The expedition was delayed nearly 
four days on account of a pontoon bridge stretched across 
the James River, about twenty-five miles below City Point, 
upon which the Army of the Potomac was crossing to the 
South bank of the river. Immediately on the arrival of 
the construction force at City Point (June 18, 1864) 
orders were received to rebuild the City Point and Peters- 
burg Railroad; also to construct wharves and buildings for 
the use of the army in unloading and receiving supplies. 
An examination was made on the road and it was ascertained 
that the bridges were gone, track taken up, and the iron 
removed for a distance of four miles. From there on to 
within two miles and a half from Petersburg the track had 
not been disturbed, but the ties were very much decayed 
and the gauge needed changing from five feet to four feet 
eight and one-half inches. By the 5th of July the bridges 
were all rebuilt, track repaired, and the road was in com- 
plete running order for a distance of seven miles from 
City Point. By the time the repairs were completed a full 
equipment of engines and rolling-stock had been received, 
and regular trains commenced running July 7, 1864. A 
large force was kept constantly employed in building 
wharves, warehouses, and all other improvements asked for 
by Quartermaster's Department. a 

Orders were received July 22 to make a preliminary 
survey of a branch line of railroad from a point near 
Pitkin Station (distant five miles and a half from City 
Point) to the headquarters of the Fifth Army Corps, on the 
Weldon railroad at Yellow House. The survey was made 
(without instruments) and everything got in readiness for 


the proposed extension. An explosion occurred on the 9th 
of August, caused by the accidental ignition of ammunition 
stored in an ordnance boat lying at the wharf at City Point. 
The force of the explosion completely demolished some 400 
feet of warehouse just completed and a large portion of 
the wharves in the vicinity; also a large quantity of 
supplies accumulated for shipment to the front. The 
damage to railroad property was very slight, and only a 
few of our men were injured. July 26 a force of trackmen 
equipped with tools were sent to Deep Bottom to report to 
General Sheridan, for the supposed purpose of destroying 
the track of the railroad connecting Petersburg with Rich- 
mond. They returned July 3 without effecting anything of 
importance. Again, August 13 another part in charge of 
John Morgan, assistant engineer, was ordered to report to 
General Hancock for the purpose of destroying the track 
on the Weldon railroad. Nine miles and a quarter of track 
were destroyed, and the iron made useless by heating and 
then bending the rails. 

Orders were received August 30 to commence building 
Army Line from Pitkin Station to Yellow Tavern, on the 
Weldon railroad. Work was commenced September 1, and by 
the 10th of September the new line was completed a distance 
of nine miles from Pitkin Station and fourteen miles and 
a half from City Point. The grading on the new line was 
comparatively light, but some very extensive trestle-works 
were constructed. For quite a distance the rebel batteries 
had full range of the track, and trains passing and our 
Construction Corps were much annoyed by the constant fire 
kept up on them. This difficulty, however, was obviated 
by the construction of a line of earthworks about half a 
mile in length, completely protecting the 'road.. 

Extensive tracks for the accommodation of the hospitals 
and bakeries were built; also very large warehouses for the 
storage of quartermaster, commissar-y, and ordnance stores. 
Substantial and roomy wharves were built for a distance of 
nearly one mile at City Point; also wharves at Bermuda 
Hundred and Light-House Point. An extension wharf was built 
on the Appomattox River for the accommodation of the hospi- 
tals. Water tanks and steam pumping engines were also 


furnished to keep up an adequate supply of water. The 
construction of hospital buildings on a very large scale 
for the several army corps was ordered October 8 . After 
most of the lumber and other material had arrived at City 
Point the plans were changed. They concluded to build 
them more temporary than was at first proposed. One 
hundred and ten of these buildings were constructed dur- 
ing the fall and winter. While this work for the accom- 
modation of the army was being done the various improve- 
ments to facilitate the operations of the road were not 
neglected. The road bed was put in first-rate order, 
and the track would compare favorably with any first- 
class road. During the month of October the yard at City 
Pont was enlarged, switches and sidings were put in, turn- 
tables were constructed at all necessary points, a sub- 
stantial and convenient engine-house was built capable of 
accommodating nine locomotive engines; also shops with all 
the requisite machinery for the repairs of engines and 
cars. At all the stations on the line sidings were laid 
and station-houses built. An average of nine trains, 
exclusive of specials, were run each way daily, amply 
supplying the wants of the army. The amount of rolling- 
stock for the working of the road was increased from time 
to time, as the demands for transportation became more 
heavy. Orders were received October 22 to proceed with 
the extension of the City Point and Army Line from General 
Warren's headquarters at the Yellow House to the Peebles 
house, a distance of two miles and a quarter. 

The work on this extension (now called the Patrick 
Branch) did not commence until November 2 on account of an 
engagement that took place near where the proposed line 
was to run. It was completed with all the necessary sidings 
November 9. The grading was not very heavy on account of 
our conforming to the surface of the ground. The grades 
are heavy (a maximum of 228 feet) . Eight hundred and 
fifty feet to trestle-work, averaging twenty feet in height, 
was built. During its construction the weather was very 
unfavorable, it raining nearly all the time, making it 
almost impossible to do any work on track. » 

From November 10 to December 19 the construction force 
were busily engaged in constructing hospital buildings, 


repairing wharves, laying additional side tracks, and 
building quarters for the Quartermaster ' s Department and 
railroad employes. A large clothing warehouse and exten- 
sive commissary buildings were then built; also distribu- 
tion barracks for the accommodation of the troops passing 
through City Point. The coal wharf at City Point and a 
large wharf at Bermuda Hundred were also completed. 
Trains continued to run on good time without accidents, 
business constantly increasing. Some days fifteen trains 
were run over the road each way. Work was commenced 
December 21 on a branch line of road running from Hancock 
Station, on the main Army Line, to Fort Blaisdell, on the 
Jerusalem plank road. It was completed December 29, but 
trains did not run over it for some days after on account 
of the very wet weather, which made it impossible to get 
the track in good order. January 2 orders were received 
to extend this branch line still farther, to the head- 
quarters of General Crawford, who commanded one division 
of the Fifth Army Corps, a distance of two miles and a 
quarter from Hancock Station. Work was immediately com- 
menced, but owing to the inclement weather progress was 
not very rapid. The track was laid, 1,040 feet of trestle- 
work 18 feet high was built, and the line opened by Janu- 
ary 20. Station-houses, platforms, and water-stations 
were built. 

This line is called the Gregg Branch of the City 
Point and Army Line. During January a plank road, extend- 
ing the whole length of the wharves at City Point, was 
built. Orders were received from Lieutenant-General Grant 
January 25 to send a construction force (with materials) 
to Beaufort, N. C, to repair railroad running inland as 
far as Winton. In obedience, I dispatched* Mr. C. L. McAlpine, 
principal assistant engineer, in charge of a force of car- 
penters and trackmen, with tools, camp equipage, and 
materials, from City Point for that place, January 26, on 
steamers Detroit, Rebecca Barton, and Charles Barton. The 
whole force reached New Berne without any serious detention 
January 30, They immediately went to work relaying track, 
getting out cross-ties, and rebuilding bridges. By Feb- 
ruary 2 the track was repaired to Batchelder's Creek bridge, 
and bridge rebuilt. February 5 Col. W. W. Wright, chief 
engineer, with his construction force, arrived at Morehead 


City. Our party kept at work till February 8, when they 
were relieved by Colonel Wright's force and embarked for 
City Point the same day. The whole force arrived at City 
Point February 12, in time to take part in the extension 
of the Army Line. From January 25, to February 12 the 
construction force remaining at City Point were engaged 
in constructing quarters, offices, & c, for the Quarter- 
master's Department, repairing and extending wharves, and 
building a large wharf at Deep Bottom, on the James River, 
and keeping the track of the City Point and Army Line and 
branches in good repair. . Our forces made an advance to 
the left of Petersburg February 5, and after three days' 
fighting succeeded in gaining and holding a position on 
the Vaughan road, a distance of about five miles in ' 
advance of their former line. 

An order was received February 8 to extend the Army 
Line. The proposed extension was located the 12th. The 
line, leaving Warren Station, ran down the old bed of the 
Weldon railroad about two miles then, diverging to the 
right, across the most favorable ground to the Cummings 
house, on the Vaughan road, a distance of five miles from 
Warren Station. Work was commenced February 13, and com- 
pleted to the Cummings house (Humphreys Station) on the 
24th. We also furnished all the necessary sidings, build- 
ings, platforms, water stations, and Y for the proper work- 
ing of the road. During the progress of this work the 
weather was very unfavorable, raining almost with inter- 
mission making the ground so soft that it was almost 
impossible to do any work or get the teams over it with 
material. Two thousand seven hundred and eighty-one feet 
of trestle-work was built on this extension, averaging 
twenty-five feet high. Most of the timber was cut in the 
woods and hauled to the work with teams detailed for that 
purpose. A number of hospital cars were fitted up 
for the purpose of moving the sick and wounded from the 
front and along the line to City Point. These were kept 
in almost constant use. Trains were running regularly 
and amply supplying all the wants of the army. In addi- 
tion to the regular freight business two passenger trains 
were run each way daily for the accommodation of mails, 
officers, and others, to and from the front. At the time 
of building the Army Line many of the officers of the Army 
of the Potomac, together with the regular Engineer Corps, 


denounced this location, declaring that it would be 
impossible for an engine alone to ascend the heavy grades; 
and as for furnishing the necessary supplies for the army 
over it, they considered it altogether out of the question. 
It was discovered, however, that engines hauled an average 
of fifteen loaded cars per train, and in many cases twenty- 
three loaded cars, with one of our ordinary engines, thus 
demonstrating the practicability of supplying a large army 
over a temporary road constructed in this manner. The 
total length of track laid on Army Line, branches, and 
aidings was 21 miles 3,955 feet, and total length of 
trestle work, 1 mile 1,393 feet, an average of twenty-one 
feet high. 

Not much of note in railroad affairs occurred from 
February 28 to April 3. The construction department was 
kept busy making additional improvements wherever needed, 
and building a wharf at City Point in the gap between the 
quartermaster's and railroad wharves. I also increased 
our force and made heavy additions to our rolling-stock, 
iron, timber, and other material in anticipation of a move- 
ment of our army. April 3, immediately after the successful 
advance of our forces, we abandoned the Army Line and com- 
menced relaying the track taken up on the South Side Rail- 
road to Petersburg, our troops having taken possession of 
that place on the morning of the 3d. The road was opened 
and in running order to Petersburg April 4. A large force 
was set to work changing the gauge of side-tracks and 
switches in yard at Petersburg from five feet to four feet 
eight and a half inches, to suit our rolling-stock. We 
also commenced changing the gauge on main line of South 
Side Railroad and completed it to Burkeville, sixty-two 
miles from City Point, April 11, and trains commenced run- 
ning through with supplies to that point. ' The road was 
found to be in wretched condition. The ties were decayed 
and worthless, and most of the iron nearly worn out. For 
two or three days it was with the greatest difficulty that 
trains could be got over the road; -but very soon the condi- 
tion of it was improved by placing a large construction 
force at work renewing ties, relaying and repairing the 
track. Trains commenced to run regularly and on time with- 
out any accident of a serious nature, and easily filling 
all requisitions for transportation. We also opened the 


Petersburg and Richmond Railroad, and regular trains 
commenced running from City Point to Manchester (opposite 
Richmond), via Petersburg, April 7. On the 24th of April 
orders were received through General Ingalls to make the 
necessary repairs on the Richmond and Danville Railroad 
and open communication with Danville, and also to advance 
on the South Side Railroad and rebuild the High Bridge 
near Farmville, seventy-six miles from City Point. I sent 
a large force with material to this bridge, but before the 
work was fairly under way the order was countermanded. 
April 30 an order was received from you to suspend alL 
work on repairs or rebuilding railroads in Virginia, and 
only finish such improvements as had been commenced and 
were nearly completed. In compliance, immediate steps' 
were taken to reduce the expenses in the different depart- 
ments. As soon as the men could be spared the greater 
part of the Construction Corps and transportation depart- 
ments were sent to Alexandria and discharged. 

By the 1st of June all the force that possibly could 
be spared had been discharged, and only a sufficient number 
retained to insure the successful operation of the roads. 
Twenty-four new locomotive engines and about 27 5 new box- 
cars (all 5-feet gauge) arrived at City Point, loaded on 
a fleet of about ninety vessels. By your directions this 
stock was sent to Manchester (opposite Richmond) and there 
unloaded. A wharf had to be built, long sidings laid, and 
connections made with the Richmond and Danville road for 
the purpose of storage. Possession was taken of the 
machine-shops at Manchester belonging to Richmond and 
Danville road, and a force engaged to put the engines and 
cars in proper condition before they were sold. Most of 
the stock had been on board vessels for nearly three months, 
exposed to all kinds of weather, and was in bad condition 
when received. 

During the month of June the Army Line Railroad was 
taken up and material brought to City Point. All property 
not in use was collected from the lines of the several 
roads and brought to City Point for shipment. Regular 
trains were run on the South Side and Richmond and Peters- 
burg roads, connecting with trains on Richmond and Danville 


road, amply supplying all the troops along the lines. A 
large number of discharged troops were brought to City 
Point, and transportation furnished a large number of 
rebel troops returning to their homes. 

July 3 the Petersburg and Richmond Railroad was turned 
over to the company, and the Richmond and Danville road was 
turned over July 4. All material and rolling-stock that 
could be spared had in the meantime been shipped to 
Alexandria. We continued running the South Side Railroad 
from City Point to Burkeville, transporting supplies and 
large numbers of troops en route north from North Carolina, 
until July 24. At this date the road was turned over to 
the company, which closed up our operations of military 
railroads at City Point. The whole force (with the excep- 
tion of some sixteen men left to take charge of property, 
& c.) were brought to Alexandria and discharged. All the 
property has been removed from City Point, with the excep- 
tion of some material which will remain there until sold. 
Mr. C. L. McAlpine, principal assistant engineer, in 
charge of construction department, and G. M. Huntington, 
superintendent, in charge of transportation department on 
this line, were preserving in the discharge of their varied 
and arduous duties. May 15, Mr. McAlpine having resigned 
his position, Mr. T. D. Hays was then appointed "in charge" 
of all our railroad operations at City Point; and to him I 
am indebted for valuable assistance rendered. 


Source: O.R. Ill, V, pp. 69-75 


List of Photographs Page 

Figure 1 : Location Map of Appomattox Manor vii 

Figure 2: 1962 Photo of Appomattox Manor, 

Hopewell , Va viii 

Figure 3: Present condition of manor house, 

right, and kitchen building left - viii 

Figure 4: Sketch Map of Appomattox Manor, , 

Hopewell , Virginia ix 

Figure 5: Kitchen Building at Appomattox 

Manor, view from northwest 20 

Figure 6: Kitchen Building at Appomattox Manor, 

view from southwest 20 

Figure 7: Chimney on North Wall of Kitchen 

Building at Appomattox Manor 21 

Figure 8: Chimney and South Wall of Kitchen 

Building 21 

Figure 9: Chimney located on North Wall of 

Kitchen Building 22 

Figure 10: East Side of Kitchen Building 22 

Figure 11: Inscribed brick R .E . 17 63 locatsd 
on West Chimney of Center House of 
Appomattox Manor 23 

Figure 12: Appomattox Manor First Floor Plan 24 

Figure 13: Matthew Brady Photograph of Appomattox 
Manor taken in 1865 from the northeast 
side of the house '27 

Figure 14: Photograph of 1856 map of Appomattox 

Manor and surrounding lands 40 


List of Photographs (continued) 


Figure 15: 

Figure 16: 

Figure 17: 

Figure 18: 

Figure 19: 

Figure 20: 

Figure 21 : 

Figure 22: 

Figure 23: 

Figure 24: 

Figure 25: 

Detailed view of Appomattox Manor 

from the 1865 map of the property 41 

Discharge of Dr. Richard Eppes from 

the Confederate Army on June 13, 1862 53 

Discharge of Dr. Richard Eppes from the 
Confederate Army on September 10, 1862 54 

View of a Civil War Cabin left standing 
on grounds of Appomattox Manor taken in 
18 8 8 6 5 

This map shows the location of the Army 
of the Potomac & the Army of Northern 
Virginia at the start of the Wilderness 
Campaign on May 3 , 1864 93 

Military Railroad Map of City Point 

Virginia , June 1865 105 

Front lawn of Appomattox Manor in 

June 1865 107 

Grant sitting on the front lawn of 

Appomattox Manor in front of his office 

tent in 'the summer of 1864 108 

General Rufus Ingalls , Chief Quarter- 
master of the Army, standing on the 
front porch of Appomattox Manor 114 

General Ingalls and unidentified party 

on the porch of Appomattox Manor in May 

1865 115 

Appomattox Manor 1865. East Wing showing 

damage to roof caused by the Union Army 

during the occupation in 1864 118 


List of Photographs (continued) Page 

Figure 26: Appomattox Manor 1865. East Wing showing 
damage to roof caused by the Union Army 
during the occupation of 1864 119 

Figure 27: Architectural elevations and floor 

plan of Grant's Cabin 125 


Figure 28: Military cabins located on the front 
lawn of Appomattox Manor during the 
winter of 1864-1865. View from northeast... 131 

Figure 29: Military cabing located on the front 
lawn of Appomattox Manor during the 
winter of 1864-1865. View from northwest... 132 

Figure 30: The following six photographs are 

modern pictures of Grant's cabin taken 
in November 1977 , at Fairmount Park in 
Philadelphia 134 

Figure 31: E. L. Henry painting depicting City 

Point during the winter of 1864-1865 148 

Figure 32: U.S. Army Hospital at City Point Virginia 

in 1865 150 

Figure 33: U.S. Army Hospital at City Point in 

1865 151 

Figure 34: Medical supply boat "VLcLYltdH " landing 

supplies near City Point in 1864 154 

Figure 35: Plan of Operations around Petersburg 

and Richmond in 1864-1865 160 

Figure 36: Defense lines around City Point 163 

Figure 37: Defense lines around City Point 164 

Figure 38: Camp of the Eighteenth New Hampshire 

Volunteers at City Point, Va 167 


List of Photographs (continued) Page 

Figure 39: City Point Wharf after the explosion 

of the ordnance barge in August , 1864.... 17 

Figure 40: Negro laborers unloading supplies at 

the docks at City Point 177 

Figure 41: The riverfront at City Point 178 

Figure 42: The riverfront at City Point "17 9 

Figure 43: Unloading supplies at City Point 180 

Figure 44: View of City Point, Termination of the 

Army Line Railroad 183 

Figure 45: The Sixth Corps embarking at City Point.. 184 

Figure 46: This engine was named the Black Hawk 
and was the first Baldwin engine to 
use outside cylinders 188 

Figure 47: Unfinished engine house at City 

Point on September 1, 1864 195 

Figure 48: Railroad engines at City Point 197 

Figure 49: The engine house and new track 

construction . 198 

Figure 50: These three photos show the track lead- 
ing to the turntable beside the engine 
house A 2 00 

Figure 51: The water tanks at City Point 202 

Figure 52: Spur track leading to the ordnance 

wharf 204 

Figure 53: Ordnance wharf at City Point 205 


List of Photographs (continue d) Page 

Figure 54: North end of the engine house just 
before the bend in the tracks lead- 
ing to the water front 207 

Figure 55: President Lincoln' s private railroad 

car at City Point 208 

Figure 56: Wharf construction at City Point 209 

Figure 57: Construction of a temporary trestle 

and additional structures 209 

Figure 58: United States Military Railroad 

engine at City Point 211 

Figure 59: Horse and mule transportation at 

City Point 212 

Figure 60: Unfinished warehouse and railroad 

engine along the waterfront 214 

Figure 61: Dan forth , Cooke & Company engine 
which was typical of the motive 
power at City Point 216 

Figure 62: Dock area at City Point July 5, 1864 218 

Figure 63: 13" mortar "Dictator" in front of 

Petersburg, Va : 221 

Figure 64: "Dictator" resting in semi-permanent 

position ./* 223 

Figure 65: Superintendents and conductors of the 

United States Military Railroad 225 

Figure 66: Telegraph operators at City Point 232 

Figure 67 : The Ra,V&Sl Qjjl<L<LYI 262 


List of Photographs (continue d) 


Figure 68: Grant's Staff at City Point in March